Work to improve Hull’s cycling infrastructure will begin this month.
Plans will include widening existing cycle lanes in areas including Freetown Way and an introduction of additional cycle lanes in roads including Holderness Road, Spring Bank, Anlaby Road and Beverley Road.
The works are being accelerated so that Hull City Council can secure the first phase of the £1.36m funding allocated by the Department for Transport’s active travel grant.
The schemes will be progressed in line with the local authority’s 10-year local cycling and walking infrastructure plan in a bid to sustain the increased number of cyclists on the roads who are taking advantage of reduced traffic and choosing a greener mode of transport to avoid using public transport.
Councillor Daren Hale, the portfolio holder for economic investment, regeneration and planning, said: The city is experiencing a cycling renaissance and we want to make sure we can maintain that momentum.
“That’s why schemes such as the one in Freetown Way are being progressed at speed so that we can meet the requirements for this vital DfT funding. This means we will be changing our usual consultation process and inviting the public for comments once the work has been carried out.
“Hull currently sits at number eight in the top 10 league table for cycling to work outside of London, with eight per cent of our residents cycling to work, compared to just three per cent nationally. This is a league table we want to get to the top of and as an authority, we will do all we can to sustain and encourage this trend going forward.
“We want to ensure the upgrades we make to our cycling infrastructure such as segregated lanes and increasing road space for cyclists are measures which allow cyclists to feel safe and confident when using our city’s roads.”
Works will include re-signing and relabelling key routes with green lines, enforcing cycle lanes, protection for cycle lanes with bolt-down kerbs and cycle contraflow provision on all one-way streets in the city centre.
Closures for through traffic on Wright Street and Baker Street at the Prospect Street junction to stop motorists using this as a rat-run from Freetown Way and a temporary lane closure in Spring Bank and both directions in Ferensway between Hull Paragon Interchange and Anlaby Road with the removal of the guard railing, to create a cycle route and additional pedestrian space.
Plans to increase the space of pedestrians will also be considered. Parking bays could be suspended on South Street to loading only and Silver Street will be pedestrianised to encourage businesses to make use of the outdoor space, with access for cyclists only.
Plans will also look at options to increase the use of bus lanes for extended periods in order for cyclists to safely use this road space.
Cycle storage hubs in the station and on Whitefriargate are also being considered.
The 2011 census data showed that just over 56 per cent of all car journeys were for 5km or less.
Claire Farrow, Behaviour Change Lead, said: “We know that people want to cycle more, both for commuting purposes and leisure, but one of the barriers has been not feeling safe on the roads. This is a project which really addresses that, by giving people more space to ride. When people move more, there are huge health benefits to health including reduced risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes and improvements to mental health and anxiety levels. Every minute really does count so regularly cycling or walking briskly can lead to long-term improvements.
“In public health, we’d encourage people to use local schemes like Rusty Riders to get back to cycling and to look into options like the Cycle to Work scheme to spread the cost of a bike. The Towards an Active Hull Strategy set an ambition to help 10,000 inactive people in Hull become active within the next ten years. Projects like this really support that aim.”