Travel networks in Central Bedfordshire
Published: 02 November 2023
As part of its active travel commitments Central Bedfordshire Council wants to make it easier and safer to walk, wheel and cycle in our towns.
During 2022 the Council ran one of its most successful ever engagements when it asked for comments on network proposals, covering the five largest areas within the authority. Having taken those comments on board, it has 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.
The Council is 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 & Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) for five locations within Central Bedfordshire.
The plans relate to the following locations: Ampthill and Flitwick; Biggleswade, Potton and Sandy; Arlesey, Fairfield, Henlow and Stotfold; Dunstable and Houghton Regis; and 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.
Cllr Tracey Wye, 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.”
Central Bedfordshire Council is using a new platform called Commonplace for this formal consultation. Using an interactive interface, it allows residents to ‘drop pins’ onto virtual maps and to comment on specific local areas.
Cllr 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 five locations would like see in terms of active travel networks.”
The consultation opens for six weeks from Wednesday 1 November until on Thursday 14 December. Go to www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/consultations to have your say. Paper copies are available in the Council’s libraries or can be requested by calling 0300 300 8302. The consultation is being hosted on the Commonplace digital engagement platform.
Notes to Editors
For more information about the proposed networks and the next steps go to our website www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/consultations
For further information please contact: Chris Faulkner, Communications Officer, on 07391 862258 or email Chris.Faulkner@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk