Members of Taunton Area Cycling Campaign (TACC) have shown their strong support for closing East Street to general traffic.
On Saturday (27th June 2020), a selection of small socially distanced groups held up placards welcoming the changes, and thanking Somerset West and Taunton Council and Somerset County Council for jointly coordinating this important work so quickly.
The measure has been introduced and funded as the first tranche of the ‘Emergency Active Travel Fund’ which was announced by Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport as part of a £2bn package to promote and improve walking and cycling.
A second biggest tranche of £480K is available for the creation of additional ‘pop up’ cycling and walking routes in Somerset.
Pip Sheard of Taunton Area Cycling Campaign has told Tone News:
Providing this extra traffic free space for shoppers was essential to enable adequate social distancing, particularly with people queuing outside shops while allowing cyclists to continue using the street .
Taunton has witnessed a big increase in cycling into the Town Centre during lockdown. It shows how attractive and pleasant East Street can be without having to contend with cars.
As cafes re-open, hopefully some will be able to put out socially distanced tables and chairs. We hope this will be a shift to ‘quality streets’ in Taunton as the town centre continues to redefine its function. We very much welcome Government funding for improving cycling following the Covid lockdown.