LEEDS City Council has started to implement new social distancing measures to support cycling and walking in Otley and protect public health.

As part of the council’s response to Covid-19 and the government lifting some restrictions, the council is taking action to help the public stay safe when walking or cycling.

On Tuesday social distancing signs and 100m barriers were installed in Otley on Kirkgate and Boroughgate.

The measures temporarily extend pathways to enable social distancing so that people can safely access local shops and centres or pass by those queuing to enter shops.

The measures have been introduced following consultation with local ward councillors.

Councillor Sandy Lay (Otley & Yeadon) said: “Councillors Campbell, Downes and myself are working with both Otley and Leeds Councils, along with our business communities in Otley and Yeadon to find new and innovative ways to keep keep everyone safe in this ‘new normal’.

“This means at this moment we are dealing with the ‘easy wins’ like widened pavement areas outside those retailers likely to need their customers to queue outside.

“We are acutely aware that there will be some who will fear that they will ‘lose out’ as things change in this new age of social distancing so we are genuinely interested in hearing from them and as many people as possible with ideas and thoughts on what more can be done.”

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Leeds City Council’s executive member for climate change, transport and sustainable development, said: “It is essential for us to support people to safely get out and about on foot in their town centres and neighbourhoods.

“Wider footways will make it possible for people to safely access workplaces if they cannot work from home or schools for those children who are returning to their school setting, for exercise and to make essential journeys to other facilities like food shops or pharmacies.

“As the government continues to announce further plans to ease out of the lockdown, we’re prioritising action locally to promote walking and cycling.

“These measures will not only enable people to move around safely now, but will contribute to a sustained lowering of our carbon footprint, help to maintain improvements in air quality and improve the health of our residents for the longer term.

“We are also keen to hear from the public and welcome Leeds residents’ ideas and suggestions on ways to make areas around schools, main roads and neighbourhoods safer for walking and cycling.

“You can make suggestions on this link: https://leedscovid suggestascheme.commonplace.is.”