A bid has been made for Government cash to help create an environment that is safe for both walking and cycling in Torbay,

The Emergency Active Travel funding is designated for temporary or experimental schemes which can be aimed at improving facilities for walking and cycling, and for maintaining social distancing and will assist in helping Torbay Council avoid overcrowding on public transport systems.

The funding is part of a total of £225 million, which will be allocated to local authorities and released in two tranches.

Torbay’s bid is part of the first tranche of £45 million, which is due for release during this summer.

Cllr Mike Morey, Cabinet member for infrastructure, environment and culture on Torbay Council, said: “I am pleased that Torbay has an opportunity to bid for this funding and that we can look to build upon the high numbers of people that took up walking and cycling as part of their daily exercise during the lockdown.

“We have a window of opportunity to act now to embed walking and cycling as part of new long-term recreational and commuting habits.”

Initially, six ‘pop-up’ schemes have been identified within the bid:

• Marine Drive, Paignton - temporary widening of narrow footway between Paignton seafront and Preston seafront to aid social distancing

• Torbay Road, Torquay - temporary widening of narrow footway which runs beneath the footbridge to aid social distancing

• Station Square, Paignton - closure of one traffic lane to provide extended footway to aid social distancing. This will also serve to act as an experimental layout to test a proposed planned future public realm improvement for this area

• Torre Abbey seafront - conversion of existing wide footways to shared footway/cycleways

• Dartmouth Road, Paignton, adjacent to Waterside precinct - temporary arrangement to provide shared footway/cycleway to link to existing cycle provision

• Temporary road closures outside Curledge Street, Paignton, and Furzeham, Brixham, primary schools - operational at school times to allow social distancing.

The proposed measures will be operational for up to 18 months.