We have been awarded £214,515 in funding from the government’s Emergency Active Travel Fund to create temporary schemes to enable social distancing while walking and cycling. These schemes are monitored to ensure they work well for residents, businesses and users.
Feedback from all users of the route through Elm Grove and Kings Road, including local residents and businesses has led to the decision not to extend the three-week trial of the segregated cycle lanes, with a commitment to reconsider how to deliver alternative improvements along this route, which has a history of traffic incidents and is seen as particularly hazardous to cyclists.
The Covid Response Board reviewed the analysis of the cycle lanes and a unanimous decision was made to stop the trial at the end of the three weeks, on 26 November. The hope had been that local businesses would benefit from a less car centred area that encouraged more cycling to the area however discussions with local businesses and the survey responses showed a loss of customers above that expected amount during a lockdown.
The survey feedback clearly demonstrated to the board the need to stop this scheme along with the feedback received from discussing the trial with businesses and emails. The survey showed that 67% of the over 1,400 respondents felt the trial was having a negative impact. The largest proportion of respondents reporting a negative impact are businesses (86%), then residents (72%), and finally visitors are classified as people that travel to/through the area from other areas of Portsmouth or from outside the city (64%). The council also received over 100 emails during the trial of which the majority were negative. The feedback has clearly highlighted a number of areas where lessons can be learnt for creating future segregated cycle lanes in other areas of the city. For more information view the summary of the feedback from the trial cycle lanes survey.
The council will continue to work with cyclists, local businesses, local residents and other interested parties on what lessons can be learned from the trial and how improvements can be co-produced in the future. During this time work has also started with businesses to help them develop a trading association like ones that are found in other areas of the city.
The details of the petition that was shared with the council and formally responded to is available on the petition webpages.