Residents who want to walk and cycle more following the lockdown will get to benefit from a planned £1.69 million investment in temporary pavements, footpaths and cycleways.
Surrey was granted £848,000 by the government to support the roll out of active travel schemes, but not the full £1.69 million grant the county council had bid for. So the council is matching the money so the projects can still go ahead.
Matt Furniss, Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “We have an ambitious programme of active travel to support walking and cycling safely in Surrey. We were disappointed to not receive the full funding from the government, so we have matched the amount ourselves to deliver the ideas put forward by residents and partners.
“We know that many residents are already walking and cycling more as we emerge from the lockdown, so we will do our part to keep Surrey residents moving on our network.”
The first scheme to be installed was in Farnham, where pavements have been widened to help people maintain social distancing while shopping in the town centre.
A new scheme will be installed this Friday (3 July) in Reigate where a new cycle lane will be created along the High Street, part of Bell Street, and part of Church Street linking to the existing cycle path. To support this, loading bays will be suspended to give more space for pedestrians and the roads will be single lane with a suggested 20mph speed limit. There will also be extra signage to alert drivers to the changes and extra cycle parking.
Matt Furniss said: “These schemes are important to give people the confidence to travel back to our town centres, and to support the people who rediscovered walking and cycling during the lockdown. I hope the new cycle lane in Reigate town centre will encourage more people to use their bikes to get around the town.
“Transportation is responsible for 46% of Surrey’s carbon emissions, so it’s essential we find innovative ways to help people find cleaner ways to travel. And for individuals, walking and cycling are good for physical and mental health.”
More information on the temporary pavements, footpaths and cycleways can be found on the county council website.