Twenty Quick Wins
At the AGM it was suggested that we identify “Twenty Quick Wins” that we could advocate for improving the conditions for cyclists in Loughborough. Stephen Watson agreed to co-ordinate these, so if you have any suggestions please email email@example.com .
A couple of examples already on the list are:
- Junction of Epinal Way and Squirrel Way, southbound.
PROBLEM: Lack of visibility between cyclists using shared cycle/footway and drivers exiting Squirrel Way.
SOLUTION: Pavement build-out to improve visibility, which would also reduce the width of road to be crossed, and potentially reduce vehicle speeds.
- Hospital Walk, near industrial area.
PROBLEM: Blind corners, leading to crashes.
SOLUTION: Council could purchase a couple of square metres of land from industrial estate and move fence to get rid of blind corner.
Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy
In 2017, the Government published their first ever Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy. The strategy aims to double cycle use by 2025 and make cycling and walking the natural choice for short journeys or for parts of a longer journey.
At the heart of the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy are Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans, which all English councils outside London have been invited – but not required – to produce.
Currently, despite asking councils to produce Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans, there is no guarantee of funding to build any of the infrastructure identified in their plans. This means that, for authorities receiving technical support, their plans risk gathering dust. And, for the majority that are not receiving support, there is no incentive for a council to invest time and resources in producing an Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan.
Cycling UK, Living Streets and Sustrans are calling on the Government to establish dedicated funding for councils to use to build infrastructure identified in their plans.
The Government says there is £1.2bn available for local authorities to spend on cycling and walking. But the reality is that most of the money is either not exclusively for that purpose, is only available for specific local authorities, or is poorly spent. But crucially there is no pot of funding specifically for councils to implement their plan or begin constructing some priority schemes.
As the Autumn Statement approaches, it is hoped that Ministers will recognise the opportunity they have to put meat on the bare bones of the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy. But the campaign needs public support.
As many MPs and council leaders as possible need to ask the Government to make funding available for authorities to implement their Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans. Without funding, the Government’s warm words and ambitions will risk failure. So please ask your MP and council leader to contact the Government about this important issue. You can do so in just two minutes here.