Parking spaces could be temporarily scrapped to improve social distancing for walkers and cyclists

Butchers Row in Barnstaple.

Butchers Row in Barnstaple. - Credit: Archant

Devon County Council (DCC) is exploring temporary measures to support social distancing for walkers and cyclists in North Devon.

The council is pursuing changes to help improve routes up and down the county after the Government announced a £250million emergency active travel fund.

Proposals in North Devon include the temporary removal of parking spaces in Butchers Row, The Strand, Cross Street and Boutport Street in Barnstaple in order to widen footpaths and introduce cycleways.

In Bideford, Bridgeland Street and the high street could get the same treatment.

The council is also looking at measures on Barnstaple Longbridge to improve footpath and cyclepath provision.

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Pilton Causeway in Barnstaple could see temporary signals introduced to improve crossings.

DCC said the focus was on key routes for travelling to work, as well as local residential and commercial areas. Narrow pavements which could restrict pedestrian movements have also been looked at.

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Councillor Stuart Hughes, DCC’s cabinet member for highways management said: “We welcome the government’s announcement of investment in walking and cycling.

“This is a great opportunity to embed some of the greener, healthier travel habits we’ve seen during the lockdown and we’re trying to find ways to support people who choose active travel on their return to work.

“We’re continuing to develop these plans to enable their delivery, if possible at the earliest opportunity. We will be liaising with town and parish councils and we will be seeking support from the business community to understand how we can deliver local aspirations for pedestrian and cycling improvements.”

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