Emergency Active Travel Measures in Ledbury Print
Written by Steve Glennie-Smith   
Monday, 22 June 2020 10:11

Herefordshire Council, through its contractor Balfour Beatty, has published plans for ‘Covid-19 emergency response active travel measures’ in Ledbury:

(Click on the image to see a larger version)

Comments should be made to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by close of play tomorrow (23rd June), but comments emailed later will be taken into account if time permits.  Apologies for the very short notice - the Portal has only just received a copy of the email.

Clearly someone has been given a new yellow highlighter: a blanket 20mph zone throughout Ledbury is unenforceable, particularly since any limit lower than 30mph legally needs to be backed up by other measures, such as speed humps.  Apart from being a total waste of money, I’m sure these would go down a bomb in Ledbury!

However, curbs on boy racers using Bridge Street and Lower Road as a race track (don’t they love the chicanes provided by parked cars!) would be useful - the funding would be better directed to the police to enforce existing speed limits.

Woodleigh Road: The narrow exit onto New Street has been a bone of contention for some time, but traffic levels here probably don’t justify any one-way.  A north-west bound shared use pedestrian/cycle way would help these users, but any hard demarcation would probably impede wide emergency vehicles such as fire engines.  The incorrect ‘stop line’ marking onto New Street, which has been there for 5 years, is confusing and indicates a one-way anyhow.

The footpath near the Market House is plenty wide enough as it is: any vehicle restrictions here would affect nearby shops and the street market.

Closing Church Street to through motor traffic would be useful for some but very inconvenient for those living in that area.  Ledbury Area Cycle Forum has, for over 20 years, campaigned for Church Street (and the top end of New Street) to be made two-way for cyclists, but the dog-leg on Church Street presents serious visibility problems.  Closing it completely (with bollards by the Town Council offices) would be an option.

A much better use of the funding would be to fix the potholes!

A further measure would be to ban parking on pavements.  Such parking has been an offence in London since the 1970s: there is no reason why this shouldn't be nationwide.  As a local authority with the same status as London, Herefordshire Council should lead the way by making parking on a pavement (even partially) an offence throughout the county.  Many pavements in Ledbury are very narrow - often made even more so by inconsiderately parked cars.  Bridge Street is a notorious example.  There could be exemptions in areas where the pavement is very wide, or there is a verge between the pavement and the carriageway (eg. Longacres).  Implementation cost: virtually zero.

The text of Balfour Beatty’s email follows:

As we move out of lockdown the government has recognised the importance of introducing emergency measures to facilitate social distancing in public spaces and provide viable alternatives to public transport and avoid excessive use of cars. During the lockdown there has also been a noticeable increase in people choosing to walk or cycle rather than using their cars and the government is keen to maintain this momentum across the country in the longer term.

Funding has been identified for local authorities to provide temporary measures that support people to continue to walk and cycle in our towns and cities and maintain social distancing.  The first part of this funding will cover the immediate emergency measures.  Later parts will support further measures to support the continuing release of lockdown and shift to active travel.

What sort of temporary measures are envisaged?

Herefordshire Council have been working to develop measures for this initial element of funding. These are intended to be temporary using bollards, barriers and signage to reallocate road space to pedestrians and cyclists and to allow them to socially distance themselves when travelling and queuing for shops.  To achieve this it is anticipated measures will include:

  • closing roads to through traffic at specific times
  • removing traffic lanes on wider roads
  • restricting roads to one way
  • adjustments to parking arrangements
  • introduction of 20 mile per hour zones

A copy of plans showing the proposals in your area are appended as part of this pack of information.

When will these measures be introduced?

The importance of introducing these measures as swiftly as possible to support the opening of city and town centres is recognised in the government guidance.  On that basis the expectation is that local authorities introduce these within a matter of weeks. We anticipate measures will start to be introduced from the beginning of July.

How will this be achieved?

The government has introduced emergency Traffic Regulation Order powers to allow local authorities to implement such measures more quickly than before.  A formal notice of intent to make the order will be published for seven days and the order must then be made within the following 14 days.

What about deliveries and access to premises on roads when they are closed?

It is important that deliveries and access are maintained. It is anticipated this will be achieved either by specific exemptions or by setting specific times when access will be possible. Where closures are on bus routes we will also be making provision for these services to be maintained.

Why are we writing to you?

Herefordshire Council recognises the significant impact Covid-19 has had on many businesses, and whilst the measures are intended to support the opening up of town and city centres they may impact the operation of some businesses. We have already had preliminary discussions with local ward and town council members as well as business interest groups in developing the measures, and we feel it is important to also gather feedback direct from businesses.  Given the timescale for implementation we will need your feedback by Tuesday 23 June.

How to feedback

Please feedback your response by Tuesday 23 June to:
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Will you monitor these measures?

All the measures introduced will be monitored to see not only how effective they are but also the impact they are having on the areas where they are introduced.  We can adjust them should the performance or feedback indicate that amendments are required.

On this basis we would ask that you continue to feedback beyond 23rd June to update us on the measures that are introduced, possible additional measures or changes to existing ones.

Kind regards,
Alice Eckley
Interim Communications Officer
| Balfour Beatty | Living Places 

Unit 3, Thorn Business Park, Rotherwas, Hereford, HR2 6JT