Cycle lane let down
Cycle lane let down

Labour in Northumberland says the council have let local people down; they have yet to see a single cycle pop-up bike lane or new cycling route from the government’s emergency active travel funding.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said that pop-up bike lanes with protected lanes for cyclists could be one of the improvements created with each council’s share of the £250m emergency active travel fund. 

The North East Joint Transport Committee received a share of £2.26m and expect to receive a second  allocation of £9.05m.

Northumberland County Council chose to use their initial allocation of £161,000 to ‘create more room for residents by suspending parking and loading bays, remove street clutter, create one way walking routes and adjust timings of pedestrian crossings and traffic lights.’

Leader of the Labour group Susan Dungworth said: “Not a single pop-up cycle lane in sight and we’re told details of what the council plans to do with the next allocation of money is yet to be finalised.

“We only have to look to our neighbouring councils to see things like pop-up cycle lanes and how they work for people, giving them space and safety on their bikes. 

“We totally support the council’s wish to get us all walking more for our own health and for the environment, but the lack of any improvements for cycling seems like an opportunity missed.

“We welcome the plans being drawn up for each town in the county to help to change the way local people travel, but we need to see these changes soon and certainly well before we are out of Covid restrictions and people go back to their normal travel habits.

“Labour is committed to encouraging people to walk and cycle more for the own health and for the environment. 

“To make real change it has to work for people and serious and sustained investment is needed, not just emergency funds which only serve to put a sticking plaster over a wound rather than address the issue properly.”

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