Covid 19: Safe space for social distancing

Covid 19: Safe space for social distancing

Social distancing measures are set to be part of our lives for the foreseeable future. It's absolutely vital that people are able to stay safe when cycling and walking, and to have the space they need to pass each other safely. Segregated cycling space is also hugely important for key workers travelling to hospitals, care homes and other essential workplaces.

Show your council where you need safe space for social distancing

It's really easy, just use the map below, provided by Widen My Path, to identify where measures are needed in your area to enable people to walk and cycle safely as lockdown eases. You can also "agree" with other suggestions you think are good - just click on the pins to see the detail and click 'agree'.

When you're done, please email your council using our draft emails, to make sure they use this information when planning where to create safe space for walking and cycling. If you're in Northern Ireland, there is no need to contact your council - we'll be speaking directly to the Executive about Widen My Path.

Before you use Widen My Path, check if you're council is already running their own consultation on the Active Travel Interventions Map below. If they are, you can also respond directly to them.

Once you've added your suggestions, let your council know

Once you've added your suggestions, let your council know

To add new ideas to the map, simply:

 1. Zoom in to where you want to place the pin. If you're too zoomed out, you can't place a new pin. Check nearby pins to make sure your idea hasn't already been suggested

2. On the right hand side, select whether your suggestion relates to a cycle way, a pavement, or a road closure

3. Explain exactly what you think is needed, and why.

4. Share with friends, family and colleagues - higher engagement will show the council just how important this is.

What are we asking for?

It's vital that people are able to walk and cycle safely during the lockdown and beyond. 

Unfortunately, narrow pavements and a lack of segregated safe cycle lanes mean that this is often difficult. We’ve all grown accustomed to seeing pedestrians walking out into the road to safely pass each other, while cyclists need to move further out into the road, and many shared walking and cycling routes are too narrow or too busy. We urgently need safe space to walk and cycle without risking infection.

Safe space is also hugely important for key workers, many of whom are choosing to cycle to hospitals, care homes and other essential workplaces to avoid the risk of public transport. This will only become more urgent when the lockdown is eased and public transport, roads and pavements get busier.

We're asking local authorities throughout the UK to take simple steps, which can be both quick and affordable, to reallocate spare road capacity for active travel. This could include using traffic cones to extend pavements or create temporary cycle lanes, or closing residential streets to through traffic to stop rat running.

Use our interactive map to show your council where safe space for social distancing is needed

What has been achieved already?

Over 10,000 people have already supported our campaign and written to their council, and we've already seen many local authorities closed streets for cycling and walking and create temporary bike lanes to hospitals. The map below shows where councils have taken measures to create safe space for social distancing. If your council hasn't yet taken action, use the Widen My Path map above to show them where measures are needed, then let your council know. Please do tell us if we're missing any measures your council has already taken.

We've worked with national government to secure their support. The Scottish Government has committed £10m to support councils to introduce these measures, while the Government at Westminster has put forward £225m for temporary measures, with details of a more funding coming soon. In Wales, the Welsh Government have made funds available for local authority applications, and in Northern Ireland the Department for Infrastructure - who have the power to make the changes - have also responded positively following our joint letter with Sustrans asking them to look into this.

Top photo copyright Ride Leicester

Cycling UK continues to support the UK to cycle
This remains true during this difficult period with the ongoing threat of coronavirus Covid-19