Cllr Ken Hawkins, Solihull Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Highways, undertook a review of Solihull’s Emergency Active Travel measures earlier this week. These are the measures put in place to make it safer and easier for residents to walk and cycle while maintaining social distancing. In view of Solihull’s Covid-19 rate – which remains high – Cllr Hawkins agreed to keep in place the majority of the temporary measures and review again in two weeks’ time.
In response to concerns over the reduction in the number of Blue Badge parking spaces, the Council has designated some additional parking spaces in Shirley and also relocated most of the planters in Solihull Town Centre to re-open the Blue Badge spaces there too. People are asked to continue parking in off-street car parks where possible and to leave the on-street Blue Badge spaces for people with severe mobility problems.
The Council is also re-opening two of the Service Roads in Shirley - adjacent to the Saracens Head pub and in front of the former Morrisons store - on a trial basis. This will provide some additional parking space and enable officers to monitor how the area performs. If there aren’t any social distancing or queuing problems by the adjacent shops, some of the other restrictions that are in place across Solihull and Shirley may be relaxed in the coming weeks.
Cllr Ken Hawkins said: “These continue to be difficult times for everyone. It is really positive to still see more people out cycling and walking than before COVID-19 hit our area. Please keep this up as it comes with huge health and wellbeing benefits.
"I would also ask that when out in our public spaces, you continue to do the right thing. Please keep your distance, wearing face coverings and use the extra space provided to help keep everyone safe and well.
"I am mindful of both the positive and negative impacts these temporary measures are having, but on balance, I have asked the team to keep these in place for now, continue to monitor and we will review the situation again in two weeks’ time.”