From Monday 3 August, Victoria Embankment in Nottingham will be closed to through traffic on a trial basis, as part of emergency plans to encourage more people to travel by foot and bike and support a greener recovery from Covid-19 as lockdown restrictions are eased.
To aid the country’s recovery from Covid-19, the Government announced an Emergency Active Travel Fund to help councils introduce measures to re-allocate road space for cyclists and pedestrians and encourage people to walk and use a bike more.
Victoria Embankment is a popular place for visitors and those travelling to, and through the area by foot and bike. A large number of vehicles also use the Embankment as a cut-through route.
In order to provide a safe and welcoming space to encourage more people to use the area on foot and bike rather than by car, parts of the Victoria Embankment will be closed to vehicles for a trial period.
The closure will be in place at all times and all days of the week, initially for the summer period, just after its junction with Wilford Grove to its junction with Bunbury Street. Parts of the Victoria Embankment will remain open to allow car parking, but vehicle access into residential areas of Meadows from the Embankment will be limited. People are also encouraged to use more sustainable modes of transport to access the area where possible. A local signed diversion route will be in place for motorists.
Councillor Adele Williams, Portfolio Holder for Transport at Nottingham City Council, said: “Walking or using a bike are great ways to get around the city, whether travelling to work, for exercise or just exploring the local area. They are also a great alternative to using a car and can help reduce pressure on the road network, which helps keep our air clean.
“Nottingham City Council has always been committed to the promotion of walking and cycling, with some great facilities already in place and even more in the pipeline.
“This funding is going to help us trial a range of ideas to encourage more people to get around the city by foot and bike, and we look forward to seeing lots of people, families, Meadows residents and those local to the area making use of the safe space at the Victoria Embankment over the summer holidays”.
The City Council has been successful in securing funds, which were announced in May, to help trial a range of traffic measures, which will support a phased economic recovery for Nottingham. The plans include; new ‘pop up’ cycle lanes, new cycle parking facilities, closures of some streets and improvements to pavements for social distancing.
The schemes could be either be amended, removed or permanently retained during the next few months as ideas are tested to see how well they work.
Cllr Williams added, “While we welcome this funding and that announced by Government on Tuesday (28th) which aims to improve mental and physical health, the Government also needs to honour its promise at the start of the Covid lockdown to stand ‘shoulder-to-shoulder’ with local councils. At the moment, we have received around £23m against an anticipated spend of close to £87m on Covid-19”.
For more information on the scheme and other Emergency Active Travel Fund measures, see here.