County Councillor Gina Dowding proposed the following motion at full Council in December 2017. She has since met with officers to support the work specifically of the Guild Wheel Users Group who campaign to keep the integrity of this strategic cycling route around Preston from being interrupted and being made less safe by the infrastrucutre developments associated with the Preston City Deal.
The motion was amended as no other group on the County would support the concept of a ring-fenced proportion of transport infrastructure spend being allocated to cycling and walking. This however is recognised as good practice for ensuring excellence in provision of safe routes.
The Lancashire Cycling and Walking Strategy will be published early next year (2018 - not yet published). Council recognises that every day journeys are from home to school, home to work, home to the station, or home to shops or community facilities. Council will therefore ensure that the Cycling and Walking Strategy will address the key issues for increasing cycling and walking as normal travel modes for local trips:
(i) That cycling and walking trips will be safe, direct, convenient and comfortable and will be seen to be safe and convenient by those who might change from other modes to cycling or walking or who might let their children cycle or walk to school.
(ii) That the County's major infrastructure asset for cycling and walking, i.e. the road network, is safe and convenient for cyclists and pedestrians and will:-
- Reduce danger to cyclists from vehicles on our busy roads.
- Prioritise cyclists and pedestrians trying to cross busy roads and junctions.
- Enable cyclists to take direct routes instead of being forced onto circuitous routes that have been optimised for motor traffic.
- Prevent the obstruction of footways with parked cars, overgrown hedges and trees, and poorly maintained surfaces and drains.
- Help children to walk and cycle to school safely and conveniently to reduce the 'school run' and prepare them for Active Travel in later life.
(iii) That Council Officers are provided with the funding and training necessary to pursue these objectives.
(iv) That Local Cycling and Walking groups' views will be taken on-board to help validate the strategy and the highway schemes that affect it.
(v) That Council will commit to ring fencing 10% of all highways transport infrastructure spend to improving cycling and walking infrastructure. NOT INCLUDED IN THE FINAL VOTE WHICH WAS OTHERWISE UNANIMOUSLY SUPPORTED
Council notes that the additional aim of the Cycling and Walking Strategy of promoting Centres of Excellence will not, however good Centres of Excellence may be for leisure, begin to address replacing car trips by active travel for every day journeys. In fact they increase car trips as people drive to the centres of excellence.
Green Councillors Abi Mills and Gina Dowding were key to founding and launching a new district wide Bus Users Group (BUG). The BUG is now an established forum to feedback to both the commercial operators and the County Council on how the existing services could be made better. The BUG gave details feedback on timetabling improvements on key routes. See the BUS USER GROUP website for the dates and locations of future meetings.