TEMPORARY road alterations in Dewsbury and Huddersfield are set to be agreed next week to help further support social distancing and encourage people to walk or cycle when possible.

Kirklees Council's cabinet is to consider the plans to make Kirklees a safer, more attractive place to walk, cycle, shop and socialise as the country recovers from Covid-19.

Councillors at a meeting on Monday, June 29, will consider plans for the temporary or experimental road alterations in the two towns as well as creative interventions.

The Council brought in a selection of temporary emergency road changes in Huddersfield on June 15 to coincide with shops re-opening in the town centres.

Further temporary measures to support social distancing and active travel are being planned for the end of the month, the details of which are being finalised.

Councillors are being asked to agree a proposed approach to implementing improvements to roads to allow for cycling and walking moving forward.

This includes plans to focus on investigating the feasibility of extending the cycle only streets within the town centre and the creation of traffic management schemes to link with wider, longer-term initiatives to create high environments in Huddersfield, as well as looking into potential improvements to routes around schools and in other town centres.

The measures would be set up in a temporary way that makes them easy to remove or amend and the Council is also proposing to create a pop-up cycle and e-scooter hire facility on St George’s square.

In addition to the road measures, the Council will also make a decision on £200,000 of creative installations that would help make the town more attractive whilst encouraging social distancing.

Proposals include a rainbow river of ribbons above both town centres as well as new planters and green planting, artworks in shop windows, a pop-up sculpture trail and a hidden gallery in the bricked up windows of old buildings.

Councillor Naheed Mather, cabinet member for Greener Kirklees said: “We are all still learning how to do things in this new normal, we have to make decisions quickly in response to what is happening nationally and that often means trying different things, being flexible and adapting as we move forward.

"Our first priority remains public safety, but by bringing in these temporary road closures we also have the opportunity to test how impactful they are on social distancing, the climate, public health and the economy."

Councillor Rob Walker, cabinet member for Culture said: “The proposed art installations are part of our journey to come back stronger following the pandemic. They will help encourage people to explore beyond the shops and to find safe spaces amidst the buildings to enjoy the visual experiences in socially distant ways. The installations are all about the threads that connect us to our past, future and present and at times like these those connections are more important than ever.“