Plans unveiled to boost cycling and walking across Harborough and Leicestershire

The county council hopes to create more networks, revamp routes and team up with schools and workplaces

Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 12:32 pm
A bold blueprint to boost cycling and walking by creating more networks, revamping routes and teaming up with schools and workplaces in Harborough and across Leicestershire has been unveiled.

A bold blueprint to boost cycling and walking by creating more networks, revamping routes and teaming up with schools and workplaces in Harborough and across Leicestershire has been unveiled.

The county council’s ambition to improve the cycling and walking network throughout the county is outlined in a new report.

The authority is acting after carrying out a consultation which attracted more than 2,400 responses.

Public feedback was discussed by Cabinet members this week as the cycling and walking strategy (CaWS) and a new action plan was rubberstamped.

Cllr Ozzy O’Shea, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We wanted people to share their experiences of travelling around the county – whether they currently cycle and walk or not – and they did that in their thousands.

“Now, subject to Cabinet approval, we have to progress the strategy safe in the knowledge that there is wide support for our ambition to encourage more cycling and walking and create healthier, greener communities.”

The strategy sets out a vision to upgrade and provide cycle routes, cycle parking, and pedestrian facilities to create healthy streets and spaces, said the council.

It will also include the provision of traffic education measures and cycle training for schools and workplaces to increase the number of cyclists and walkers.

The initial target over 10 years is to increase cycle and walking trips to schools and employment by 10 per cent and a rise in walking and cycling trips by 15 per cent.

“This target is a starting point,” added Cllr O’Shea.

“We will keep it under review to make sure that we are doing as much as we can to meet the challenges of improving public health, air quality and tackling congestion – all big priorities of the council."

The study also raised a number of improvements which cyclists and walkers – as well as the public in general – would like to see as part of the strategy.

Suggestions include:

- Segregated spaces for cyclists and walkers around Leicestershire as well as improved crossings, with more priority for cyclists, particularly at junctions

- Improved lighting, signage and road markings

- New developments to support active travel

- Greater law enforcement and more education for cyclists, similarly more education for drivers about being aware of cyclists

- Reflecting the needs of rural areas.

The council says the new scheme will help them to improve pavements and cycleways in future, as well as supporting funding bids to the Government.