First wave of walking and cycling plans in Kent announced

The first wave of schemes to encourage walking and cycling in Kent has been announced.

In total there will be four 20mph schemes, two town-wide schemes in Faversham and Tonbridge and two town centre schemes in Margate and Tunbridge Wells.

These schemes are being introduced through an Experimental Traffic Order, meaning they will be installed by mid-September and a consultation will run afterwards to decide whether to make them permanent.

These trials form part of the Government’s push for active travel in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and Kent County Council has provisionally been allocated just over £8 million by the Department for Transport to invest in walking and cycling.

The first round of funding that has been agreed by Government is £1.6 million with the remainder dependent on this first round being spent within eight weeks. A second wave of schemes will be dependent on the Government’s decision to award further funding.

Kent County Council cabinet member for highways and transport Michael Payne said: “Kent Highways has been successful in being granted 100% of the money that we were able to bid for in the first stage. This means the first wave of schemes can now be put in place. These schemes are ready to roll having been chosen by officers from among the many ideas that have been worked on.

“If these initial trials are successful, and we subsequently receive the second tranche of monies that the Government has said it is prepared to allocate to Kent, even more schemes will be rolled out. We have to be realistic in that the first round of schemes will not satisfy everyone who has made suggestions, but by concept testing, in a way that has not been previously affordable, we have the chance to encourage more cycling and walking and make our roads safer for all users.”

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