The Government has today awarded North Yorkshire County Council £52.6 million in funding to invest in walking and cycling. This comes hot on the heels of a campaign launched by Knaresborough Town Councillor, Hannah Gostlow, calling for improved cycle paths locally to allow for distancing.
Research shows there has been a significant improvement in both air and noise pollution in recent weeks, as well as a 70% increase in the number of people using bicycles.
Local Liberal Democrats are calling on the County Council to ensure that, where possible, new infrastructure is permanent so its benefits continue beyond the end of the crisis.
Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson, Judith Rogerson, added:
The Government has made it clear that local councils need to act now on walking and cycling improvements to enable people to get around safely while social distancing is so important. As life gradually begins to go back to normal the streets will soon become much busier. We need to be allocating greater space to walking and cycling, otherwise it will be more difficult for people to go about their daily lives safely.
During the lockdown I’ve seen lots more people than usual walking and cycling around Harrogate. I know lots of us want to carry on doing this because it is good for our health and better for the planet. That’s why we are calling on North Yorkshire County Council to make changes now.
Commenting, Liberal Democrat County Councillor for Knaresborough, David Goode, said:
Knaresborough’s medieval streets are narrow and walking in the road is not safe, therefore it’s obvious that more space needs to be allocated to enabling walking at a social distance. This isn’t limited to Knaresborough — the County Council needs to be taking much greater steps right across North Yorkshire.