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Council Has Funding for Investment in Walking and Cycling

Published: 13th July 2020 08:30

Cheshire West and Chester Council has secured a sizeable grant from the Department for Transport to help improve cycling and walking routes in the borough.

Cyclist and walker

The £161,000 of funding follows the Government's announcement in May on the Emergency Active Travel Grant to help the country emerge from the coronavirus crisis. This first allocation of funding has been secured by Cheshire West and Chester Council to encourage more people to keep walking and cycling in a safe way, especially for short and local journeys.

Residents have already been sharing their views and suggestions as part of the ‘Walk, Ride, Thrive' campaign, helping to shape improvements in communities.

Councillor Karen Shore, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport said: "It's fantastic news to hear the funding has now been confirmed.

"During lockdown we have seen a dramatic fall in traffic volume and air pollution, whilst more and more people have adapted to more active travel, such as walking and cycling. We want to encourage this even further to improve the health and wellbeing of our residents, whilst also supporting the ambition to become a carbon neutral borough by 2045.

"Thanks to all those residents who have been playing their part, putting forward suggestions for the Walk, Ride, Thrive initiative. We have received a considerable amount of feedback and are already making improvements in communities. Let's all try to shop local and travel sustainably."

Initial improvements include the widening of the footway over Grosvenor bridge in Chester, as well as cycle lanes being introduced along the A41 near Boughton and on part of the A54 in Winsford. Both temporary and permanent measures are already happening across the borough, linking with the reopening of shops, restaurants, bars and businesses.

Cheshire West and Chester Council will be seeking to secure the second phase of funding over the coming weeks to support more permanent cycling and walking infrastructure in the borough. The improvement schemes will be guided by resident views on Walk, Ride, Thrive. Please continue to share your views and suggestions on what improvements you would like to see in your community to encourage more people to walk and cycle.

There are a number of ways to get involved and share your ideas:

  • Tweet @Go_CheshireWest using #WalkRideThrive
  • Send a letter to: Stronger Futures: Cycling and Walking, Insight and Intelligence, Cheshire West and Chester Council, Council Offices, 4 Civic Way, Ellesmere Port, CH65 0BE
  • Telephone the Council's Contact Centre on: 0300 123 8 123, quoting 'Focusing on Cycling and Walking'.
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At 18:59 on 14th July 2020, Snapdragon commented:
Let's have more money for walking and take away the conflict with cyclists on "shared" paths. Give the bikers their own lanes.
south wirral cyclist
At 11:16 on 20th August 2020, south wirral cyclist commented:
Snapdragon - You may find the government policy document https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/904146/gear-change-a-bold-vision-for-cycling-and-walking.pdf behind the funding encouraging, as it (p21) states that proposals should segregate pedestrians and cyclists. What is less encouraging is that there are now almost 1000 suggestions on the CWCC interactive map where improvements could be made and most seem sensible. Such improvements seem to cost huge amounts (Cambridge spent £2.4m on one roundabout!) https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-53736468 so probably CWCC will only be able to fund about 1% of the suggested improvements over the next 5 years.

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