Improving pedestrian mobility

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Pedestrian Areas

In order to create more space for pedestrians required to facilitate social distancing, it is proposed to expand pedestrian areas where possible, and to do so in a safe and clear manner. The priority locations for such measures will be in the city core and in the urban villages, where there is both a high pedestrian footfall and where footpath widths are constrained. Such temporary measures would require a review of the use of the existing road space adjacent to the footpath. For example, depending on the location, where there is queueing outside shops and cafés, pedestrian areas may be expanded into loading bays by using protective bollards

The Council is open to the idea, and willing to explore the potential of, increasing the number and extent of pedestrian areas in the city core. Options that may be considered include restricting deliveries to certain times at different locations. This may facilitate the pedestrianisation of some city streets, and free up some additional space for businesses to operate while complying with Covid-19 restriction requirements.

The Council will work with relevant stakeholder to develop a potential list of locations and options with the focus on facilitating businesses returning to commercial activity.

Photo name: Pedestrian crossings

Pedestrian Signal Crossings and Waiting Times

In order to reduce the time that people are waiting for pedestrian crossings to turn green, the maximum amount of time allocated to a complete traffic cycle, (allowing all movements in the junction operate, if demanded) has been reduced from 120 seconds to 80 seconds throughout the city.  As the amount of time for the pedestrian green and amber man is based on the time taken to safely cross the road, and therefore remains the same, the additional time has been taken from that allocated to vehicles.

This has resulted in shorter green times at all junctions and an expected reduction in traffic capacity of up to 30%.  As traffic volumes increase, following advancement through the different phases of the government roadmap for easing of restrictions, and while the requirement for social distancing remains in place, the cycle length will remain capped at 80 seconds. This will result in major reduction in capacity for motorised vehicles going forward. The impact of this on public transport journey times and reliability will also require careful monitoring.

In addition to reducing the wait times for all junctions, a number of pedestrian crossings in the city centre and key locations in urban villages have been set to automatically operate from 7am-7pm to reduce vehicular speed, to aid pedestrian movement and to minimise contact with signal push buttons.

It is of vital importance that the city centre is not used by through traffic which has no requirements to be in the city centre and which can use alternative routes.  The orbital routing system, which was recently updated on street, will assist with this.