Plans are being put together to close one of six lanes of Trent Bridge to cars, and open up Victoria Embankment for cyclists and pedestrians, in a bid to encourage more active, socially-distance travel options.
The idea is to close the bridge’s left-hand lane on the way into the city, to be used by cyclists.
The barrier which currently blocks off the pavement could be moved into the road to create a sectioned-off area.
On Victoria Embankment, one plan is to close a stretch of the road to through traffic.
The exact location is yet to be confirmed by the city council, but is understood to be from Wilford Grove – which runs through the middle of the Meadows Recreation Ground.
With the Embankment proving a popular and busy spot during lockdown, the idea is to give pedestrians and cyclists more space.
Access would still be available for cars driving to the paddling pool and bike track.
A range of other schemes are also being developed for the city, including improved cycle lanes at Hucknall Road, connecting City Hospital to the Ring Road. Here, the council says: “Protected space will be provided over and above the existing disjointed on-road cycle lanes.”
New segregated cycle routes would also be installed on the Wells Road in St Ann’s, Carlton Road and Porchester Road.
In a city where public transport use pre-lockdown was among the highest in the UK, there are concerns over the accessibility of transport post lockdown, with social distancing requirements greatly reducing the capacity of trams and buses.
To help address this, the Labour-run Nottingham City Council applied for funding from the Government’s Emergency Active Travel Fund, which aims to increase cycling and walking as more socially-distanced options, to help ease congestion as lockdown is gradually lifted.
A council report on the Victoria Embankment states: “ This road along the River Trent is open to traffic but it is classified as park rather than an adopted highway.
“This road will be closed to through traffic freeing up the space for commuting by bike as well as providing a valuable area for exercise, particularly allowing children to cycle on the road.
“There is an agreed procedure to this as the area is often used for events.
City council transport officer Keith Morgan told a meeting of the Local Access Forum last night (Wednesday, July 8): “We’ve looked at spaces where people need to get out and about, for health, both mental and physical. We want to make sure people have got space to go to.
“So we’re looking at Victoria Embankment.
“In the past we’ve closed it off occasionally.
“So there’s still access available to get down to the playground and the kids’ bike track if people need to travel a bit further and people need to drive and park, but it also means we’ve got half the road, or half the section of road, closed.
“We can maybe use that for promotional events to get people down there, but also just use the space for walking and cycling, to give people more space down on the embankment, because it’s been a very popular area during lockdown.
“We’re also looking at Trent Bridge, to look at whether we can get a bus and cycle lane in there, but in order to do that we need to work with the county council, so we’re consulting with them at the moment.”
Councillor Michael Edwards represents the Meadows for Labour, and said his priority for Victoria Embankment is stopping it being used as a through route in order to reduce traffic.
He said this would mean: “A temporary stop to through traffic along the Embankment – most probably through a barrier proximate to the paddling pool – and an opportunity to see what the impact would be.
“Trent Bridge, currently being re-painted, is also proposed to have its inside inbound lane to be converted to a 2 way cycle lane, extending the extent of cycle priority that exists along the Embankment.”
Further details are expected in the coming weeks about exactly how the schemes would work, when they will be introduced, and how long the temporary measures would last.