Councillor Rob Humby, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment at Hampshire County Council, said: “We’ve seen a dramatic drop in traffic as our lifestyles and work patterns have changed during the Coronavirus outbreak with many people walking and cycling more. At the County Council, we have been working with our partners to increase opportunities for people to walk or cycle, and we welcome the news from the Government that more funding will be available to help us achieve our ambitions as national travel restrictions begin to be relaxed. As part of our work on responding to the climate emergency, we were already working hard on designing infrastructure schemes to encourage more active travel in order to improve air quality, reduce congestion and provide Hampshire residents with alternative travel choices to help them become more physically active.”
“We await to see details of Hampshire’s share of the £2bn national pot announced at the weekend, and how we can use this to help Hampshire’s residents make healthier and greener journeys as we support the economic recovery of our county. Earlier this year, our bid with Southampton City Council for a number of cycle improvement schemes was successful in winning national funding, and these are already underway. We have an opportunity now to build on this, and, once we have a clearer idea of funding we will be able to sift through potential schemes, gather local feedback and determine what we can deliver, where, and how quickly.”
Hampshire County Council is investigating a range of measures that could be implemented across the county to keep people walking and cycling safely while maintaining social distancing, as the country gradually moves back to travelling to work and school. These include reallocating road space, signing to encourage physical distancing and establishing low-cost temporary measures to limit access by certain vehicles in specific areas. These measures will be particularly important in main urban areas, as public transport capacity is likely to be significantly reduced to support social distancing and safe travel for passengers and staff.