A PLAN to deliver improved cycling and walking networks and increase participation will need over £30million investment in towns across Staffordshire over the next decade.
The local cycling and walking infrastructure plan (LCWIP) sets out recommendations for schemes to improve safety, encourage more people to travel this way and improve town streets.
It will build on the county council’s successful delivery of previous sustainable transport projects. The plan targets the areas where there is the greatest demand and the largest potential for the transfer of short journeys to walking or cycling.
Investment in infrastructure will be targeted within the compact urban areas of Burton, Cannock, Lichfield, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Stafford and Tamworth. Over the last five years over £7million has been invested in walking and cycling routes in the six towns.
The strategy will help to contribute to the national targets of:
• Doubling cycling activity journeys from 0.8billion in 2013 to 1.6billion in 2025
• Increase walking activity to 300 journeys per person per year in 2025
• Increase the percentage of children aged five to 10 that usually walk to school from 49% in 2014 to 55% in 2025
Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport Helen Fisher, pictured, said: "This plan is central to the county council’s aims of achieving healthy living for residents, access to jobs and the combating climate change.
"We want to increase people’s connectivity through cycling and walking to employment, education and leisure. This will support people to lead safer, healthier and more independent lives.
"More people have been walking or cycling as a result of the coronavirus crisis and we want to see this continue as life gets back to normal. With the recent government announcement of additional funding for cycling the plan is extremely timely and we will await with interest on how the additional funds are allocated.
"With our LCWIP in place I believe we are in an excellent position to move quickly once the funds become available so that we can build on the infrastructure that is already in place.
"We will now be consulting with our district and borough councils, local councillors and communities to seek their support for delivering the recommendations in the plan.”
Projects will be chosen with a range of issues considered including how close they are to employment developments, schools, railway stations and using personal injury accident data.
Cycling schemes will include new paths, toucan crossings, improvements to existing routes and new or improved signs. Pedestrian improvements will include new or enhanced crossings, resurfaced and widened pavements, reducing traffic speed and general modifications to public areas.
People can read the strategy at: https://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/Transport/transportplanning/Walking-and-cycling.aspx