For World Environment Day, we’re celebrating our colleagues working on environmental-focused schemes across the UK… and how they’re making a real difference. In particular, how Technical Director, Ian Kirk-Ellis is working with the walking and cycling team at Nottingham City Council (NCC).
Walking and cycling are key to reducing pollution, improving air quality, and protecting the environment. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK Government gave local authorities the opportunity to secure funding through the Emergency Active Travel Fund, with the aim to facilitate schemes that encourage walking and cycling in communities and help with social distancing. NCC were quick to seize this opportunity and bid to implement several schemes, benefitting regular walkers and cyclists with the hope to encourage more. These schemes were implemented quickly without the benefit of the typical consultation processes, aimed to facilitate social distancing. This provided in many cases, initial trials to see how these changes were accepted within communities.
Further funding, secured by officers at NCC from the Emergency Active Travel Fund (Tranche 2) enabled a programme of schemes to be brought into communities, via extensive consultation processes which are steadily being implemented through the area. These schemes primarily aim to create modal filters to cut off through traffic and provide low traffic and traffic-free routes to assist with walking and cycling. Ian has been seconded into the walking and cycling team at NCC since March, assisting with the delivery of these schemes. In addition to the Emergency Active Travel Fund, longer term investment through the Transforming Cities Fund (TCF) is being used to deliver many strategic schemes. NCC has a visionary approach with a radial and orbital network of core cycle routes that are slowly being delivered through this and other funding.
Ian is undertaking a client-side role, overseeing a number of these schemes at their early stages to facilitate the progression through to public consultation and beyond. He is also looking at several potential improvements to push them forward in the future. The delivery of this infrastructure will provide opportunities for safer and more convenient active travel, reducing the reliance of private cars, decreasing congestion and pollution. Nottingham City Council remain committed to improving walking and cycling throughout their constituency.
Images source: Nottingham City Council