Local authorities have been given more powers so they can increase space for people walking and cycling during the lockdown period.

In new temporary guidance from the Department for Transport (issued 16 April 2020), changes have been made to how Traffic Regulation orders are consulted on to support the ongoing development of cycling and walking schemes during the lockdown period.

The Department for Transport has clarified that local authorities have the powers to instigate local road closures, temporary cycle lanes or expand the footway to provide more space for cycling and walking following the social distancing guidance.

man walking on high street

Dr Rachel Lee, Policy and Research Manager, Living Streets comments:

“Loosening up the usual rules surrounding Traffic Regulation Orders will make it much easier and quicker for local authorities to create space for people to walk and cycle safely during lockdown.

“This pandemic is making us all realise how much public space is given over to individual car use rather than walking and cycling.

“Filtered neighbourhoods, banning cars from certain roads and tackling pavement parking can all help make our daily exercise easier and safer.

“Towns and cities worldwide are starting to reallocate road space to allow people to move more freely and ensure people can carry out their daily exercise at a safe distance from others and free from road danger. Now we can start to follow their lead.”