Medway Council has created new cycle lanes, installed new cycle racks and widened 11 miles of well-used public footpaths thanks to active travel funding from the Department for Transport (DfT).
The government announced the £225million fund earlier this year following an increase in the number of people walking and cycling across the UK during the coronavirus pandemic. The funding aims to help encourage more people to choose alternatives to public transport and make roads across the country safer for both pedestrians and cyclists.
Earlier this summer the council received an active travel grant of £242,000 and used the funding to:
- Improve the on-road cycle lane in Dock Road, Chatham, from the Wood Street roundabout to Western Avenue
- Implement temporary closures of Rochester High Street to traffic to help residents and visitors socially distance, when non-essential shops were allowed to reopen, in line with government advice
- Installing new cycle racks in Chatham town centre
- Creating a pedestrian zone at the bottom of Chatham High Street
- Temporarily widening 11 miles of well-used footpaths across Medway to enable social distancing and promote walking routes
- Install 10 dropped kerbs at different junctions with a further eight due to be installed in September and October
The council is now bidding for up to £1,236,000 further active travel funding from the Department for Transport (DfT) to continue to expand and improve Medway’s walking and cycling paths.
If successful, the funding could be used to explore a range of schemes including: creating a new pedestrian and cycling route to link Darland to Capstone, continuing into central Chatham; providing a cycle and pedestrian route through Rochester High Street and to create cycle lanes on A2 Chatham Hill.
The council is expecting to find out if the funding bid has been successful later this month.
Encouraging our residents to become more active
Cllr Phil Filmer, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Frontline Services, said: “I am pleased that we were awarded government funding to expand walking and cycling facilities across Medway and delighted at how quickly we were able to make the improvements. We have seen an increase in the number of residents cycling in Medway this year and I hope they enjoy using the new facilities. If our bid for further active travel funding is successful we will continue to expand and improve Medway’s walking and cycling paths. We are committed to encouraging our residents to become more active.”