Harlow has bid for a share of government funding from Essex County Council to encourage walking and cycling and enable social distancing.

The bid, being backed by Harlow Council, is for £294,500 and was developed by the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town team. The bid will support improvements to cycling and walking in Harlow now and lay strong foundations for active travel as new Garden Town communities are developed in future.

The following three schemes included in the bid are proposed to encourage walking and cycling and to support social distancing guidelines:

Repairing and upgrading 32km of priority routes of the town’s cycle track network –  Harlow already has an extensive network of cycle tracks which links key areas of the town together. With the right investment in the right places, the network will encourage more people to cycle for leisure and to get to work and school. The scheme includes repairing potholes and resurfacing some areas on priority routes and installing new lighting on some of the darkest routes. Vegetation would also be cut back on priority routes as well as the clearing of drains and gullies. Areas in need of attention have been identified using feedback from the community. Much of the network is the responsibility of Essex County Council. Harlow Council will look to fund some improvements to the small parts of the network that it owns to complement this scheme.

Enabling businesses to re-open safely – It is proposed that covered cycle parking is installed at key employment locations and transport hubs around the town. This would help employees to return to work safely and socially distance through the use of a bicycle. Encouraging cycling to work will also reduce congestion at peak periods and improve staff wellbeing. Secure cycle parking is needed to encourage people to cycle to work. The locations proposed for secure cycle parking are:  Harlow Town Centre, the Pinnacles Industrial Estate, Temple Fields, Harlow Town Station and Princess Alexandra Hospital. 

Proposal for school streets – It is proposed that school streets are implemented at 4 schools in Harlow with suitable conditions to restrict traffic. A school street is a road outside a school with a temporary restriction on motorised traffic (excluding essential access) at school drop-off and pick-up times. The result is a safer, healthier and more pleasant environment for everyone. This proposal would address issues of congestion, illegal/inconsiderate parking, potential conflict between cars and vulnerable users, and wellbeing.