Councillor Rob Humby, Deputy Leader of Hampshire County Council and Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment, said: “The Coronavirus pandemic has changed travel patterns and behaviour, and many people are cycling and walking more. This is a critical time to consider changes to our roads to support a prosperous, healthy and green recovery from Covid-19 - making it easier for people to sustain healthier lifestyles, whilst supporting local businesses, and helping to meet the County Council’s carbon reduction targets as part of our Climate Change Strategy.”
An online survey is being conducted to seek feedback on the plans and we are very keen to get the views of the community.
The survey will take approximately 15 minutes to complete and will be available online for a four-week period from noon on Monday 22 February until just before midnight on Sunday 21 March 2021.
Please access the survey and the accompanying information via this link: https://www.hants.gov.uk/transport/transportschemes/atfpetersfieldimprovements
Those who require a paper copy of the survey are asked to contact: 0370 779 7200.
Subject to feedback, it is proposed that this enhancement scheme will be implemented for a trial period of up to 18 months. During this period, it will also be subject to monitoring to measure walking and cycling levels and impacts on vehicular traffic. After the 18 month period and subject to the outcome of the monitoring the scheme may be either removed or extended further. Any further changes will be subject to availability of funding and separate consultation at that time.
The proposed measures being consulted upon include retaining the current temporary prohibition of driving along Swan Street between the Square and Chapel Street, to ban vehicle movements turning left from The Square onto Swan Street and prevent through traffic using Swan Street.
As with the current temporary situation taxi, parking and loading access are proposed to be retained as follows:
• Taxi operators will still be able to drop off on the High Street.
• Disabled parking will remain in the specified sections of High Street.
• Loading bays will be retained in the specified section of High Street.
• 30-minute parking will remain in the specified sections of High Street.
The proposed enhancements would see the red and white barriers replaced with planters to help pedestrians to maintain social distancing whilst improving the look of the town and making the traffic management easier to maintain. Additional cycle parking will also be provided as part of the improvements.
The proposals also include better signing of the ‘prohibition of driving’ restriction showing that the road is closed to vehicles (except for buses, cycles and licensed taxis). A fixed camera may be implemented at a slightly later stage if necessary, to support enforcement of the restriction.
Councillor Humby continued: “While I’m pleased at how quickly we were able to respond in the summer to secure funding from the Government’s first Emergency Active Travel Fund and install initiatives to support the local economy and protect public health following the first Coronavirus lockdown, the conditions for this second tranche of funding means we have more time to consult with communities and incorporate feedback into the development of our schemes, or review whether to proceed with the projects, if the consultation indicates a lack of public support. I would therefore encourage people to have their say on these ideas now, to ensure we have a good measure of local opinion.”
The schemes, if implemented, will be funded through Hampshire County Council’s successful bid to the Government’s Active Travel Fund, amounting to £3.28 million awarded for a range of measures across Hampshire to create better spaces for walking and cycling in local communities.
The County Council would like to install measures that the community will support and will use. Therefore, feedback from the public is vital, particularly during the planning stages that we are now in.