A new interactive online mapping tool has been launched so people can have their say on temporary walking and cycling measures across Somerset.
A number of temporary measures, including pedestrianised high streets in towns including Burnham-On-Sea, have been introduced to encourage social distancing during the Coronavirus pandemic and support the safe movement of pedestrians and cyclists.
Working in partnership with Town Councils, the schemes have been put in place by Somerset’s Covid-19 Active Travel group, which includes representatives from Somerset County Council, Mendip District Council, Sedgemoor District Council, Somerset West and Taunton Council, South Somerset District Council, Avon and Somerset Police and Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership (SASP).
Having been allocated an initial £120,000 from the Department for Transport in emergency funding for the temporary measures, the group says it is committed to working with communities to help create better spaces for people walking and cycling around Somerset, particularly with further funding expected in phase 2.
The group says that, so far, feedback has been mostly positive with many town centres busier as the lockdown and pedestrianised roads help ease crowding outside shops. Burnham-On-Sea.com reported here that local feedback has been mixed.
Working with ‘Commonplace’, the Active Travel group has developed an interactive mapping tool that enables members of the community to flag up areas of concern in a specific area where changes could make a positive difference. Comments will be reviewed, and temporary measures may be put in place or adjusted where appropriate.
The site is being provided by ‘Commonplace’ for a six-month trial period to help inform plans to keep the residents of Somerset safe.
Mike Saunders, Commonplace CEO, says: “Commonplace is passionate about connecting people who care about their neighbourhoods with the decisions that impact the places they live and enjoy.”
“With so many of us spending even more time at home during the Covid-19 lockdown, there is an even greater demand to stay connected and involved with the changes happening to our roads and pavements to help maintain social distance.”
“By offering our platform for free to councils like Somerset County Council, we’re playing our part during Covid-19 to keep that conversation going online.”
The map can be accessed at https://somersetcovidactivetravel.commonplace.is/