We want to improve the opportunities to travel on foot or by cycle around the Bay. The Government announced a funding package to help encourage more people to choose alternative modes of transport during the pandemic, to help reduce the risk of spread of Coronavirus and help keep traffic levels lower. The Government recognises that transport interventions which make walking and cycling easier also have longer term benefits. Grant funding has been awarded in two phases. Phase 1 has been implemented already and further funding (£132,600) for a Phase 2 has been granted subject to further consultation.

Phase 1 - Recently implemented scheme

We have been awarded £41,000 of new funding from the Government’s Emergency Active Travel Fund, this being allocated in response to our bid of up to £55,000, for an initial six ‘pop-up’ and experimental schemes.

The funding is a government initiative to help with the creation of an environment that is safe for both walking and cycling in Torbay area and for maintaining social distancing and will assist in helping us avoid overcrowding on public transport systems as we begin to open up further parts of our economy.

As social distancing guidance will remain in place, we need to provide suitable improvements at specific locations to encourage more people to walk and cycle for both commuting and pleasure.

The £225 million allocated to local authorities will be released in two phases, so that work can begin at pace, on widening pavements and creating areas of shared space.

The bidding process for the second tranche of funding, for more permanent schemes, has now been announced and we are currently working towards submitting a bid for a possible further £221,000 in early August 2020.

The main purpose of the initial funding is to promote cycling and walking as a replacement for journeys previously made by public transport. This funding will allow us to act in an effort to embed walking and cycling into residents habits and therefore reap the associated health, air quality and congestion benefits.

The six Initial ‘pop-up’ schemes will allow for the implementation of schemes at the following locations, reallocating road space to cyclists and pedestrians, including on our strategic corridors.

These schemes are as follows (click on a map to see a larger version):

Marine Drive, Paignton

Temporary widening of high footfall footpath in seafront location to aid social distancing (approximate length 200M).

Marine Drive Scheme

Station Square, Paignton

Closure of the traffic lane to provide extended footpath in town centre location to aid social distancing (approximate length 150M).

Station Square, Paignton

Torre Abbey Seafront and Meadows

Conversion of existing wide footpaths to shared footpath/cycleways to link into existing cycle provision (approximate length 400M).

Torre Abbey Seafront and Meadows

Torbay Road, Torquay

Temporary widening of high footfall footpath in seafront location to aid social distancing (approximate length 200M).

Torbay Road, Torquay

Dartmouth Road, Paignton

Temporary arrangement to provide shared footpath/cycleway to link to existing cycle provision. This will be temporary until a permanent scheme is implemented (approximate length 200M).

Scheme 5 - Dartmouth Road, Paignton

Additional schemes

Temporary road closures outside two primary schools, operational at school times to allow social distancing.

Continued monitoring of Town Centre locations and minor targeted actions if further social distancing issues are identified.

Whilst most of the schemes are on routes included within the authority's proposed Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP), there are some areas that fall outside of these schemes and are specifically targeted at providing suitable COVID19 related improvements at specific locations, therefore encouraging more people to walk and cycle for both commuting and pleasure.

The traffic calming measures are temporary for a period of up to 18 months. During this time traffic will be monitored and, in consultation with local residents, alterations may be removed if deemed ineffective or made permanent where considered successful.

Phase 2 -  Consultation plan for further schemes

As part of previous engagement, the Council consulted briefly on a large range of potential schemes and asked for further suggestions from the public regarding ideas to include as part of a bid for Phase 2 funds, which was done before meeting a short deadline to submit a bid. The website www.widenmypath.com was used to gain insight from the public as well as through social media. Councillors were also engaged in discussions and initial conversations to get feedback from certain groups from the community was undertaken. Since submitting a bid, the Council was awarded with a funding package of £132,000. This money will enable the delivery of a number of projects. Before they are implemented, they will be further and more detailed public consultation to help inform their design and implementation as well as ongoing monitoring. Further and specific details will appear on this page shortly.

The proposals which will be engaged on include the following:

  • A permanent scheme for Marine Drive, Paignton (already implemented in temporary form under Phase 1) to widen the existing pavement
  • New cycle path provision on Torbay Road, Torquay (north of Hollicombe) in order to provide a missing link in the cycle network
  • Provide a scheme for improvements alongside and near to Furzeham Primary School, Brixham (which could include 20mph)
  • Cycle routes for Brixham – use engagement process to further understand options and consider opportunities to trial improvements to cycling in and out of Brixham
  • Winner Street, Paignton – use engagement process to further understand community views and implement a trial scheme to test ways to reduce traffic and make active modes of travel more attractive. This could include a modal filter and temporary street closures.

The engagement which will consist for each of the schemes will have a number of common elements consisting of (but not limited to):

  • A survey which will explore the level of support for each scheme from communities, businesses, etc. as well as the principles by which people are willing to support active travel more generally.
  • Workshop group meetings will be held with specific groups, including relevant local Community Partnerships, to engage on the principle and detail of schemes.
  • Integration into wider transport consultation activities by the Council upon a new Local Transport Action Plan and a Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan during February 2021, including an online engagement event. This will help raise awareness more generally and help articulate and explain how projects fit within wider strategies. As part of this consultation, the Council will conduct stakeholder mapping and initiate conversations and seek to find new and strengthen existing community connections with a view to creating an active travel community network to work in partnership together to support active travel into the future from a variety of perspectives, including but not just limited to infrastructure. This approach aligns with the Council’s aims for a joined-up approach across the Torbay community in order to maximise impact.

The consultation and engagement activity will be analysed and reported. The feedback will be used to finalise detailed scheme design. Any material changes to schemes described in the Phase 2 bid will be reported to the Department of Transport.