Northampton Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan consultation 2020

Closed 23 Oct 2020

Opened 9 Sep 2020

Overview

The outbreak of COVID-19 has re-shaped our society.

In recent weeks and months people have taken the opportunity to explore their local area on foot and by bike and discovered the health and wellbeing benefits of being more active. With lower numbers of vehicles on the roads, many people have enjoyed the quieter streets and have had the confidence to try out cycling perhaps for the first time in many years. The focus now is ensuring that those people continue to walk and cycle for not only leisure but also for their day to day journeys and encourage others to do the same.

As part of the Emergency Active Travel Fund, the Council sought views on where social distancing measures were required and where people would like to see longer term walking and cycling improvements. The Commonplace consultation received over 1,900 comments from across Northamptonshire.

Respondents overwhelmingly supported the need for better walking and cycling links in and between urban and rural areas, with a desire for streets to be designed to safely accommodate all road users, whether they choose to walk, cycle, use public transport or drive to work, school or for shopping and leisure activities. 

Ahead of the publication of the government’s Cycling and Walking Plan for England ‘Gear change - a bold vision for cycling and walking’ we had begun to develop a draft Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan for Northampton with support from the Department for Transport.  

The publication of the government’s most recent vision document and the latest design guidance LTN 1/20 Cycling Infrastructure Design presents a significant step-change from previous walking and cycling guidance and the walking and cycling agenda are now moving at pace. Both documents support the need to provide safe, continuous, direct routes for cycling in towns and cities, physically separated from pedestrians and volume motor traffic, serving the places that people want to go.

The draft Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) for Northampton supports an ambition for Northampton to become a leading centre for active travel, which fully embraces walking and cycling, underpinning plans for any further expansion of the town. The document outlines the measures that could be introduced to transform levels of walking and cycling.

We are aware that some schemes proposed within the draft plan do not meet the latest walking and cycling guidance as they were developed based on the design guidance at the time (LTN 2/08 Cycling Infrastructure Design and LTN 1/12: Shared Use Routes for Pedestrians and Cyclists), which has subsequently been withdrawn. The Department for Transport have made it clear that any schemes submitted for future funding bids need to be designed in line with this new guidance.

But rather than delay public consultation further, we are keen to hear your views on the scope of the draft document and its approach, whether you support the measures outlined and if anything needs to change to ensure the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan for Northampton is aligned with current guidance.

We have also not had time to consider and incorporate the extremely valuable comments we received through the Commonplace consultation into the document. We will use those responses, together with the feedback received through this consultation period to produce a revised version of the LCWIP.

Comments should be submitted via the consultation survey by 23 October 2020.

Please feel free to only answer the questions relevant to you. You do not need to answer every question.

All feedback received will be stored in a confidential manner in accordance with data protection regulations.

If you have already made a comment/scheme suggestion via the previous Commonplace consultation there is no need to repeat it again in this consultation.