Have your say on proposed active travel networks in Central Bedfordshire
Wednesday, 1 November 2023
As part of our active travel commitments we want to make it easier and safer to walk, wheel and cycle in our towns.
During 2022, we ran one of our most successful ever engagements when we asked for comments on network proposals, covering the 5 largest areas within our area. Having taken those comments on board, we have today published a suite of reports called Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs). These explain in detail the networks it envisages for each town, plus the principles behind their design.
The benefits extend beyond pedestrians and cyclists and the plans aim to make life easier for users of mobility scooters, wheelchairs, pushchairs and prams.
We're keen for everyone with an interest to have their say. The consultation on each LCWIP runs throughout November, closing mid-December. The results of the consultation will help to shape a Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) for 5 locations within Central Bedfordshire.
The plans relate to the following locations:
- Ampthill and Flitwick
- Potton and Sandy
- Arlesey, Fairfield, Henlow and Stotfold
- Dunstable and Houghton Regis
- Leighton Linslade
Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs) are an initiative from central government asking local authorities to put together a long-term strategic approach for the walking and cycling infrastructure which is required across an area. Further work is also underway to develop a further LCWIP that will cover the remaining towns, villages, and rural routes across Central Bedfordshire over the course of 2024. Residents will be invited to help shape and then be formally consulted over the course of next year.
The consultation follows a series of engagement events where the public, businesses and other local stakeholders gave their views and shared local information to help inform the proposed networks.
Councillor Tracey Wye, our Executive Member for Sustainability and Climate Resilience said:
The feedback from this consultation will help us to focus on the destinations where people most want to get to. For instance, if we find that many of our residents would like to be able to cycle, walk or wheel to the train station or a local school, then that’s what we’ll prioritise. I would encourage everyone to have their say on the proposed destinations in their area and to let us know if there are others not included in the proposed plans.
We want walking and cycling to be the natural choice for local trips and these plans aim to provide the infrastructure for convenient, safer, greener and healthier alternatives to using our cars.
We're using a new platform called Commonplace for this formal consultation. Using an interactive interface, it allows residents to drop pins on virtual maps and to comment on specific local areas.
Councillor Wye added:
The fact that we can now collect our residents’ views not just by completing a form, but by collecting local intelligence using the features of the new consulting tool, means that we can really drill down to what the residents in these 5 locations would like see in terms of active travel networks.
The consultation opens for 6 weeks from Wednesday 1 November until on Thursday 14 December.
Paper copies are available in our libraries or can be requested by calling 0300 300 8302. The consultation is being hosted on the Commonplace digital engagement platform.