The following information has been received from Cambridgeshire County Council:
As the conversation with the DfT (Department for Transport) on the matter of compliance with the Emergency Active Travel Fund (EATF) guidance was by phone, I have confirmed with them by email that my understanding of their position in detail in relation to the guidance was correct before responding to you.
The root of the problem with this proposal in the context of the EATF is in relation to the statutory guidance for local authorities at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reallocating-road-space-in-response-to-covid-19-statutory-guidance-for-local-authorities, which sets out the expectations of government and the types of measures that they expect to see coming forward with the funding that they have provided.
The “Reallocating road space: measures” section of the guidance starts “Local authorities in areas with high levels of public transport use should take measures to reallocate road space to people walking and cycling, both to encourage active travel and to enable social distancing during restart… …Local authorities where public transport use is low should be considering all possible measures.” It then goes on to list the types of measures that can be implemented from the EATF. Limited restrictions to vehicular access such as HGV bans are not included on this list. The expectation is that measures to improve conditions for cyclists on road will reallocate road space with physical segregation, or very significantly reduce vehicular traffic by use of measures such as modal filters that prohibit through movements by all motor vehicles.
The emergency procedures document that you link to in your email below sets out amendments to the procedures for Traffic Regulation Orders in the context of implementation of schemes under the EATF. It does not add to or amend the statutory guidance. The third bullet you note is applicable to proposals covered by the statutory guidance that would need a Traffic Regulation Order to restrict traffic, such as a modal filter or bus gate. It does not broaden the guidance to cover any traffic restriction that would require an order.
In terms of the underlying reason that this type of intervention is not included in the guidance, the EATF is expecting local authorities to “make significant changes to their road layouts to give more space to cyclists and pedestrians.” An HGV ban does not do this, and leaves the majority of traffic on the B1040, meaning the benefit to cyclists is marginal at best. It does not reallocate road space, segregate cycle movements or significantly reduce vehicular traffic. Other potential benefits of an HGV ban on the B1040 locally are not covered by the aims of the EATF funding.
The above does not remove the local imperative to look for ways to improve traffic conditions in Hilton, but it does confirm that DfT do not consider that the EATF would be an appropriate funding source for measures needed to implement an HGV ban. I hope that this clarifies the position in relation to the EATF.