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Published May 23rd 2020
Local Authority Preparing for Post-Covid19 World
A rural council in England is making a 10-year plan to help meet the 'new normal' once the coronavirus pandemic is over. Staffordshire County Council is looking to deliver improved cycling and walking networks in order to increase participation in the healthy activities and, in so doing, reduce the reliance on cars and public transport. The Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP), which is expected to need more than £30million investment in towns across Staffordshire over the next decade, sets out recommendations for schemes to improve safety, encourage more people to travel by bike or on foot, and improve town streets. It aims to build on the county council's successful delivery of previous sustainable transport projects. The plan will target 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 more than £7million has been invested in walking and cycling routes in the six towns.
Helen Fisher hopes to encourage more people to cycle to work or play
As well as delivering improvements for the people of Staffordshire, the strategy will also help to contribute to various national targets. These include doubling the volume of cycling activity journeys from 0.8billion in 2013 to 1.6billion in 2025; increasing walking activity to 300 journeys per person per year in 2025; and increasing the percentage of children aged five to 10 that usually walk to school from 49 per cent in 2014 to 55 per cent in 2025. 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.
Ten-year plan to get more people running, walking or cycling
Staffordshire County Council's cabinet member for highways and transport, Helen Fisher, said: "This plan is central to the county council's aims of achieving healthy living for residents, access to jobs and 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." People can read the strategy at:https://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/Transport/transportplanning/Walking-and-cycling.aspx