By Jonny Long
The Mayor of Liverpool has green lit £2 million to improve cycling within the city by introducing up to 100km of pop-up cycle lanes.
The investment will help the city's economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, with the UK Government encouraging local councils to improve walking and cycling infrastructure as public transport will be operating well below capacity as people adhere to social distancing guidelines.
A £45m redesign of the city centre has already begun, with 11km of new permanent bike lanes being created, but Mayor Joe Anderson says the time to be "as radical as possible" has come in order to maintain the city's air quality that has improved since lockdown began. The new pop-up cycle lanes will improve cycling along key route into and within the city.
"The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted our way of life beyond imagination but the challenges it has presented has also provided us with a once in a lifetime opportunity to reimagine how we use and travel within our cities," Anderson said.
"We are already doing much to alter how people move around Liverpool city centre but we must now go further than we ever dreamed possible and use our highways network in a way which balances the needs of our economy, our health and our environment.
"This £2m programme for temporary cycle lanes is just one step on the long road to recovery. Hopefully these measures will provide businesses and their workforce strong alternatives if they don’t want to use public transport and don’t have access to a car."
The city has certainly been getting the cycling bug recently, with Liverpool FC captain Jordan Henderson joining Mark Cavendish for a Zwift ride during lockdown.
The UK Government recently announced they will provide £2bn to create pop-up bike lanes, wider pavements, safer junctions, and cycle and bus-only corridors within weeks as part of new funding to support safe transport during the coronavirus pandemic.
They've also published fast-tracked statutory guidance, effective immediately, which will tell councils to reallocate road space for significantly-increased numbers of cyclists and pedestrians.
Vouchers will also be issued to help people pay for bike repairs and plans are being developed to make more bike fixing facilities available.
Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races. I'm 6'0", 26 years old, have a strong hairline and have an adequate amount of savings for someone my age. I'm very single at the minute so if you know anyone, hit me up.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab, reporting about students evacuating their bowels on nightclub dancefloors and consecrating their love on lecture hall floors. I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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