Walking and Cycling-3

Play your part in a new plan to drive forward walking and cycling in Lancashire

People are being urged to have their say about an ambitious new plan to get far more people walking and cycling for everyday journeys.

Lancashire County Council and Blackpool Council have set a target for 2028 to double the number of people cycling, increase the number of people who walk at least once a week by 10%, and reduce levels of physical inactivity to below the national average.

A key part of the strategy is to publish a number of Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans, featuring proposals to join up the gaps in our existing network of footpaths and cycle routes and provide safer, direct and more convenient routes.

A plan will be produced for each of the following seven geographical areas: Central Lancashire, Ribble Valley, Hyndburn and Rossendale, Burnley and Pendle, West Lancashire, Fylde Coast and Lancaster. The Fylde coast plan will include Blackpool alongside Fylde and Wyre.

People are being asked to help shape the plans by taking part in a survey about current cycling and walking provision in their area. The councils want to know what they think the gaps are in the network and what facilities would enable them to walk and cycle more.

Cllr Charlie Edwards, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport at Lancashire County Council said:

"Lancashire is a great place to cycle and walk for all ages, whether for leisure or commuting. Our highways and public rights of way teams already do a fantastic job of maintaining the thousands of miles of roads and footways across the county.

"But it's our ambition to make Lancashire a place where many more people can make cycling and walking part of their everyday lives. To achieve this, active travel needs to be a practical choice as well as a healthy and sustainable one.

"At the moment nationally, over 60% of all journeys of between one and two miles are made by car. But with the right infrastructure in place, it will be easier for people to make more of their regular journeys on foot or by bike.

"To develop our plan further, we need people from all across Lancashire to get involved and tell us what they would find useful in their local area. We want to get views from people of different backgrounds and abilities about cycling and walking to help us make improvements which will have real benefits."

Cllr Neal Brookes, Blackpool Council's Cabinet Member for Enforcement, Public Safety, Highways and Transport, said:

"We're delighted to be working alongside our fellow Lancashire authorities on this project. We're all passionate about making cycling and walking a more attractive proposition and we've been eager to push forward with the plans for some time now.

"There are a number of options we're exploring at a local level, including proposals for the 'Blackpool Wheel' scheme, a 24-mile-long active travel route which would link the Promenade to other open spaces in Blackpool. It would be great to see similar ambitious ideas become reality right across Lancashire, but first we need local people to come forward and share their views on how improvements could be made.

"We invite all Lancashire residents to get involved and have their say."

The survey will be available online on Lancashire County Council's website until 5 May 2022

As well as engaging with local communities, the council will work with each of the district authorities to ensure their input and support for the plans. Additional design and feasibility work will be needed to take any of the proposed schemes forward.

You can find out more about the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans, and take part in the survey at www.lancashire.gov.uk/activetravel

Notes to editors

Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans have been used as an evidence base in other areas of the country to introduce long term, fit for purpose cycling and walking schemes. An important part of the process is to undertake full public and wider stakeholder engagement.

The first stage of this engagement runs until 5 May 2022 when feedback from Lancashire residents is sought.

An online questionnaire and mapping tool is being used to find out what people think about walking and cycling in Lancashire and to gather local knowledge on potential problems and suggestions from members of the public.

The second stage of engagement would be to present all seven draft plans for public comment during the summer once analysis has been completed. A draft indicative Lancashire cycling and walking network map based on the plans would be published, and the final plans would be taken to the county council's Cabinet for approval later in the year.

The council's 'Actively Moving Forward: A ten-year strategy for cycling and walking', is available on the website and has a vision for Lancashire to be:

" a place where many more people make cycling and walking part of their everyday lives. A place where cycling and walking is easily accessible, safe to use, attractive, well maintained, and where we actively promote cycling and walking to all our residents and visitors to the county."