Temporary cycle lane to be removed from Preston city centre square

Changes are being made to traffic restrictions put in place in Winckley Square, Preston, in response to a lockdown reduction in traffic to the area.

By Phil Cunnington
Thursday, 6th August 2020, 3:45 pm

Measures were put in place across Preston city centre in June to help social distancing and encourage people to walk and cycle for regular journeys as lockdown restrictions were eased in order to help reduce the spread of coronavirus.

As part of efforts to safely reopen the town centre as footfall increased, Lancashire County Council introduced a number of measures to give more space to pedestrians in busy areas, and make cycling easier using temporary ‘pop-up’ cycle lanes to separate cyclists from other traffic using bollards and water barriers.

In order to prioritise walking and cycling due to continued strains on public transport, cycling-friendly measures were put in place in Winckley Square and a number of roads have been partially closed to vehicles to reduce traffic levels and make it easier for people to use their bikes for short journeys.

Temporary traffic measures on Winckley Square, Preston. Some of the measures put in place as Covid-19 lockdown restrictions eased are to be removed

Monitoring of the schemes have been undertaken, showing a marked reduction in traffic flows on Winckley Square since the introduction of point closures on Fishergate, including at the junction with Chapel Street. Closures introduced on June 15 to coincide with the safe reopening of the high street resulted in a reduction in traffic of around 45 per cent.

With reduced traffic flows in this area helping to create a safer and more pleasant environment for walking and in particular cycling, the county council had decided to remove the pop-up cycle lane on Winckley Square.

Point closures on Fishergate, including on Chapel Street, will remain in place. This will enable vehicles to continue to access the full length of the road to reach homes and businesses via diversion routes, while preventing them being used as rat-runs where more suitable routes are available for through-traffic.

County Councillor Keith Iddon, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “The measures we have been putting into place, working closely with Preston City Council, seem to be working well in terms of making it easier for people to travel more sustainably.

“We know that many people across Lancashire are keen to cycle for short journeys, including shopping and working in their local centres. We are now satisfied that the reduced traffic coming into Winckley Square will mean that people can do this in a safer more enjoyable way without the need for specific cycle lanes. However, we will continue to monitor and review all of these temporary measures as part of our response to the coronavirus crisis.”