Wokingham Borough Council has approved plans to put cycling and walking infrastructure at the centre of future highways design plans.
Plans approved by an individual executive member decision earlier this week will see the council adopt the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Local Transport Note (LTN) 1/20 and embrace the principles of Gear Change which set out the actions required to radically increase active travel.
LTN 1/20 is a new national cycling design guide that sets out minimum requirements for cycle infrastructure, including cycle lanes, junctions and crossings, construction and maintenance, and cycle parking.
LTN 1/20 identifies five core design principles which represent the key requirements to encourage more cycling and walking:
- Coherent – people must be able to reach their destinations easily, along routes that are well connected, simple to navigate and of consistent high quality.
- Direct – cycle routes should provide the shortest and fastest way of travelling from place to place.
- Safe – cycle infrastructure must be safe and most important must be perceived to be safe by users.
- Comfortable – cycle routes should be of a good quality, well-maintained, smooth, wide enough to accommodate the volume of users, have minimal stopping-starting and avoid steep gradients.
- Attractive – cycle infrastructure should help deliver public spaces that are well designed stimulating cyclists.
Gear Change describes DfT’s vision for cycling and walking, setting out the actions required at all levels of government to radically increase active travel. Increasing cycling and walking can help achieve some of the key priorities for the council – improving air quality, combatting climate change, improving health and wellbeing, addressing inequalities and tackling congestion on our roads.
The recommended actions set out in Gear Change range from the provision of higher standards of cycling facilities to ensuring that all future schemes and developments are sustainable transport focused.
Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, executive member for highways and transport said, “We are committed to putting the infrastructure in place that allows our residents to consider walking or cycling as an alternative to car travel when planning their journeys. We welcome the guidance offered by the Department for Transport to implement changes that will see active travel as a key consideration for future highway design plans.”
“I am delighted to say Bader Way is just one example of our current walking and cycling infrastructure projects where we have successfully adopted the government’s Gear Change guidance”.
Phase one of the Bader Way project has seen a new footway and cycleway linking east Woodley, Dinton Pastures Country Park and Loddon Bridge, providing an alternative route to the busy Bader Way.
Plans are now in progress to extend the new footway and cycleway to provide a direct link for cyclists to Winnersh Triangle business park and railway station. This will include a signalised crossing on the A3290 near Showcase cinema and a new replacement bridge that will incorporate ramps and make the bridge more accessible for both cyclists and wheelchair users.
The council currently have a number of consultations running in regards to walking and cycling infrastructure and are inviting residents, local businesses and visitors to share their thoughts on how it can implement effective change to encourage more active travel opportunities.
To help shape the walking and cycling network across the borough visit wokinghamlcwip.commonplace.is where you will have the opportunity to leave your thoughts and opinions.
The council is also currently asking for feedback on The Active Travel Fund scheme proposals to improve connections between the A329 London Road and Wokingham town centre, and linking Woodley and Earley to Reading.
The Greenways consultation is also seeking views on the next stage of the council’s greenways project, which will create a new route through Woosehill Meadows from A329 Reading Road to Heron Road.
For further details on all current council consultation visit the council website and search consultation.
To find out more about the DfT’s Gear Change and LTN 1/20 guidelines visit the gov.uk search Gear Change and LTN 1/20.
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