Monday, September 21, 2020

Government cash secured for a cycling revolution in Scunthorpe

Cyclists in Scunthorpe will see a raft of changes in the coming weeks with a major programme of works designed to improve connectivity to the town centre from surrounding residential areas.

New cycle lanes, dedicated access routes, additional signage and secure cycle parking bays are all being introduced as part of moves to encourage more people to cycle into the town centre for work, leisure and shopping.

North Lincolnshire Council has received some cash from the Government’s Department for Transport’s Emergency Active Travel Fund to kickstart the project.

Cllr Rob Waltham, Leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: “Now, more than ever, it is vital that the cycling network in Scunthorpe town centre is updated to make it easier and safer for cyclists when travelling in and out of the area. People are being encouraged to walk and cycle more to help reduce the spread of Covid-19, whether this is travelling to work or socially.

“The funding from the Government will enable us to carry out much-needed improvements between Ashby Road and Scunthorpe town centre to improve the cycling network. This will eventually link in with further developments connecting all of our towns and villages.

“We will be submitting a bid for extra funding from Phase 2 of the Department for Transport’s Emergency Active Travel Fund to further support longer term projects to install additional measures specifically for cyclists.”

The improvements include:

  • A two-stage right turn for cyclists from Howden’s Hill onto Station Road
  • New cycle lanes along Laneham Street and Shelford Street
  • Dedicated cycling facility between the end of Shelford Street and Mary Street (between the housing and the car park)
  • Temporary crossing point on Mary Street
  • New footway/cycleway across the grassed area (adjacent to the car park) to connect in Frances Street
  • New cycle lanes along Frances Street, including a contraflow cycle lane, with physical segregation, for people leaving the town centre
  • Introducing a one-way system on Robert Street (travel eastwards only), proposed suspension of on-street parking on Laneham Street and parking restrictions on Frances Street (south) between 8am and 6pm.

This latest development for Scunthorpe comes in the wake of recent multi-million pound announcements including £25m as part of the Government’s Towns Fund – which these proposals form part of. The ambition is to improve connectivity to the town centre from surrounding residential areas.

The council has also submitted a bid for an anticipated £20m for the Future High Street Fund. This is expected to see a major development at the 2.5 acres former market in the heart of the town centre.

Additionally, £1m extra Government cash is being used by the council to create an urban park in Church Square while a major environmental enhancement project is being delivered across a six mile stretch of the A18 through the Scunthorpe from the retail park, along Kingsway and Queensway, all the way through to Brigg Road.

While this latest development is to help people travel safely by bicycle around the town, cyclists are being urged to dismount in the town centre.

The council and Humberside Police have reminded cyclists of the importance of cycling safely in Scunthorpe town centre.

Cllr Rob Waltham, Leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: “We are investing money in new bays so that cycles can be secured and not ridden in the town centre. We are seeing an increase in the number complaints by shoppers of cyclists riding through the pedestrianised areas in Scunthorpe town centre putting people at risk, which is very concerning.

“Cyclists should dismount from their bikes in these areas. Also cyclists are no different to anyone else, they must following the social distancing guidelines.

“People should be able to feel safe walking about the town centre and not having to avoid cyclists – I have been receiving complaints that older and disabled people are feeling intimidated.

“I would ask all cyclists to walk with their bikes whilst in pedestrianised areas and pavements until they are on the road or a designated cycling path to make sure they stay on the right side of the law.”

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