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Dorset Council receives emergency funding for travel enhancements

Bournemouth pier

The Government has setup a £255 million emergency fund for travel and transport enhancements during the COVID-19 pandemic. From this pot, Dorset Council has been provided with £577,000 in funding.

£115,000 of the £577,000 is for short-term measures to make social distancing possible in towns when shops reopen on 15th June. The further £462,000 is for medium-term and permanent measures.

The aim of the fund is to allow the council to introduce temporary measures to improve social distancing and other changes to transport.

Dorset Council is seeking suggestions from residents, but some of the things considered by Dorset Council include:

  • making roadside paths wider (eg. on high streets) to allow for queueing, while others can pass at a safe distance.
  • restricting or blocking traffic from certain streets where social distancing wouldn’t be possible otherwise.
  • creation of temporary cycle lanes for safer cycling and social distancing.

The new temporary infrastructure would be applied throughout Dorset’s towns, especially where there are large numbers of pedestrians, cyclists and other modes of transport, ready for the reopening of businesses.

If you would like to suggest ways in which our communities can be made safer during the pandemic, please submit your feedback here: http://www.dorsetsafestreetsmap.commonplace.is/

Feedback will be analysed by Dorset Highways and prioritised accordingly to benefit pedestrians, cyclists and wheelchair users.

We’re committed to helping residents move safely around towns and villages during social distancing, and we recognise this will get more difficult as further restrictions are lifted.

This is a real opportunity for transformative change in how we make short journeys and we want to get it right – enabling our residents to continue their new-found walking and cycling habits for work and leisure.

We are already engaging with parish and town councils to understand where the immediate crowding issues are that could negate social distancing efforts on high streets, but we need help from all parts of our communities to get a clear picture of concerns and priorities across the wider Dorset Council area.

Councillor Ray Bryan, Dorset Council
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