As part of Greater Manchester’s response to the COVID-19 emergency, Salford City Council is introducing infrastructure to promote safe walking and cycling across the city for all residents. The city has seen a huge increase in cycling and walking during the coronavirus ‘lockdown’ and is keen to make sure it continues. Across Greater Manchester walking or running for exercise is up 120%. Cycling for exercise is up 45%. There is also a strong desire to promote the safety of key workers as they travel and improve the environment for residents on their local streets.
The #SafeStreetsSaveLives public consultation for Salford ran for 2 weeks in May. The consultation allowed residents to identify transport issues and improvements that they would like to see. The consultation received almost 4,000 visitors and 4455 contributions. Although the consultation is now closed, responses can be viewed on the Commonplace website.
The responses have been categorised into very short term, short term and longer-term deliverables, this enabled us to essentially identify ‘quick wins’, which in turn allowed us to begin making improvements as soon as the consultation closed.
Salford City Council has been awarded £0.5million from the MCF programme for temporary walking and cycling improvements citywide which will help facilitate the increase in walking and cycling trips. The MCF funding can be spent on a wide variety of measures. The temporary nature of the majority of the emergency measures provides the opportunity to learn lessons and refine the schemes.
To support social distancing in response to the COVID19-emergency, Salford City Council has created additional space for pedestrians and cyclists on Blackfriars Street. Blackfriars Street now one way, outbound from Manchester, between St Mary's Parsonage and Chapel Street. The location of the scheme and the extents of the restriction on Blackfriars Street is illustrated below.
Provision of a lightly segregated cycle route between Langworthy Road and Cross Lane. This will result in an Improved access to employment opportunities at MediaCityUK and connections to Salford Royal Hospital / Salford University.
Additional footway and cycle space created by extending the footways on Irwell Street to assist social distancing.
To encourage sustainable travel and improve the pedestrian and cycling environment in the Trinity and Islington neighbourhoods a number of trial modal filters have been implemented.
A modal filter is a road closure to motorised traffic that maintains permeability for non-motorised transport modes such as walking, scooting, mobility scooters, and cycling. Motorised access to properties and businesses is maintained but may be restricted.
The modal filters will utilise planters positioned in the highway to prevent residential streets being used a cut throughs by non local traffic. This reduces overall vehicle speeds and traffic volumes, resulting in an improved local pedestrian environment.
The Islington and Trinity Modal Filter trial has been implemented under an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETO) and as part of this process it will be closely monitored over a six month consultation period. Comments received during consultation will be used to inform future developments.
The provision of additional short stay on street cycle parking and long stay residential parking for households without space to store bikes. Locations are currently being considered though the Commonplace consultation feedback and after survey responses from the Salford Residential Bike Hangar scheme.
Barriers / vegetation that make it difficult to social distance (two metres apart) in public places have been identified through the Commonplace feedback. These barriers include overgrown vegetation, bollards and gates that you have to unnecessarily touch. Significant Vegetation cutbacks have been identified along the A57 and A580.
In order to improve the pedestrian and cycling environment Modal Filters are to be used to create Filtered Neighbourhoods, predominantly in residential areas. This will reduce vehicle speeds, and the amount of people using residential streets as a cut through. In turn this should result in a greatly improved and safer pedestrian environment.