Work on Wick Spaces For People project to start
As the Spaces for People programme continues to be rolled out across the Highlands, work is scheduled to begin in Wick next week to enhance the active travel environment for walking and wheeling in the area. Work will include improving dropped and pedestrian crossings, making it safer and more convenient to travel actively around main routes.
The Spaces for People project is being managed and delivered by The Highland Council, using Scottish Government funding. Its core aim is making it safer for people who choose to walk, cycle or wheel for essential trips and exercise while maintaining social distancing during Covid-19.
Phase one is for North Road, George Street and several side streets in Wick and will see infrastructure changes to implement a number of dropped kerbs, in addition to tactile paving for those with visual impairments, along the length of the road to assist people in crossing safely and at points where visibility is optimum. While the work is being undertaken, access for walkers and cyclists will be maintained via a short, on-site diversionary route.
The footpath at Milton of Wick has seen a large increase in the number people using it for exercise and it is recognised that the current narrow footway is not suitable for maintain physical distancing, particularly when people are walking in opposite directions and meet. As part of the next phase of works, the footpath is scheduled to be upgraded to increase the overall width and ensure that it is possible to walk in either direction without having to leave the pathway in order to maintain a safe social distance.
Chair of the Caithness Committee, Cllr Nicola Sinclair, said: “As COVID-19 lockdown restrictions still remain in Highland and may do for some time, the Spaces for People programme in Caithness is important in supporting people to exercise and make essential journeys. The planned works very much reflect feedback from the community around the areas most in need of attention, particularly for safe walking and cycling. As daylight hours increase, I hope these changes will allow more people to get out in the fresh air, safely.”