Lancashire County Council is introducing some temporary changes to roads in Ormskirk to help social distancing and encourage people to walk and cycle for regular journeys as lockdown restrictions ease further. The county council has been working closely with West Lancashire Borough Council to safely reopen the town centre as footfall increases, and prioritise walking and cycling due to continued restrictions on public transport.
A number of measures will combine to create a better cycling link between the town centre and Edge Hill University, and make more room for pedestrians on narrow pavements linking to the railway station. Moor Street will be closed to vehicles where it meets St Helen’s Road to extend the existing pedestrianised zone, while maintaining access for businesses to load/unload.
This will tie into a pop-up cycle lane on the east side of St Helen’s Road from Moor Street to the junction with Ruff Lane. Pop-up cycleways are temporary cycling routes on existing roads, created by adding bollards, cones, or water barriers to separate cyclists from other traffic. Ruff Lane will be closed to through-traffic at its junction with St Helens Road to reduce the number of vehicles using Ruff Lane, making it a quieter route which is better suited for cyclists.
A barrier will also be placed along the western edge of Railway Road from its junction with Leyland Way to Derby Street to create more space for pedestrians using this busy link between the town centre and the railway station. This will result in the temporary loss of some parking.
Work to introduce the measures is due to begin on Thursday afternoon, and be completed on Friday. County Councillor Keith Iddon, Lancashire County Council cabinet member for highways and transport, said “We’re working closely with councils throughout Lancashire to make our town centres as safe as possible as lockdown measures ease and footfall increases.
“Our focus is to create more room for pedestrians to prevent the spread of the virus, and make it easier to cycle due to the continuing restrictions on public transport. Current advice is to avoid using public transport unless your journey is really necessary, so instead we’re asking people to walk and cycle if they can.
“These temporary measures will create more space for people to keep apart in the busiest areas of Ormskirk town centre, and make it easier for people to walk and cycle as an alternative to using public transport or driving. They are part of our emergency response to help Lancashire control and recover from the coronavirus, and we will keep them under review.”
Councillor Ian Moran leader of West Lancashire Borough Council, said “The safety of people living and working in West Lancashire is really important and as well as working with Lancashire County Council we have taken further measures. These include installing signage in different parts of the borough to remind shoppers to keep a safe distance and providing guidance to organisations on how they can be Covid safe”.