Emergency Active Travel Fund Begins

You saw the post about footway widening in BH area, with more upcoming scheme information .On June 03 We posted the Transportation managers presentation of proposals, the Zoom participants saw another 15 BCP scheme proposals that are currently still private. All across U.K Councils are now enacting the instructions given by central Government to make changes for Active Travel during COVID era

On 05 June our Council made the application for funds to complete this work, here is a round up and how we propose the best is made of this Central Government funding that is given to BCP Council to initiate Active Travel.

The first ETRO in the area is going to be in place from 27th June, this saturday, on Poole Quay.  This is the quote I gave to support BCP work on these upcoming changes.  “We warmly welcome the move to make our streets more cycle-friendly and in doing so dedicating more space for people as opposed to motor traffic.    During the coronavirus pandemic we have seen a positive increase in the number of people taking to two wheels and it’s important we have emergency measures in place to protect those local commuters and leisure riders alike.   Travelling sustainably carries many benefits for both people and places.  It contributes to improved health and wellbeing, reduces traffic congestion and effectively works towards a more sustainable environment for everyone .  We very much look forward to seeing the measures come into place as cycling and walking is prioritised across the three towns.”

There has already been some great work already done across BCP, many of the new measures coming into force will re-assign road space for bikes, where there already is space that needs protecting. Some years ago the former Cycling and Walking officer Lucy Marstrand brought in the Woodland Walk as a cycle route when it had been designated no cycling for decades. Joining this was  new bi-directional route to take people to Kings Park using a Toucan crossing, this is pictured here. Remember the minimum width for a road that takes Buses and HGVs is 3.25 metres. Christchurch road the A35 is one of those roads and this piece of work took that to the minimum and gave the cycle way most allowable. (General cycleway is 1.5 metres, this is way more) So there are possibilities to make great changes to roads without any loss to traffic ‘flow’.

So on major roads there are places that with parking removed or moved to better placement cyclists could be protected easily, this is for those riders that may be wary of venturing onto roads. The sort of people and families that we have seen lots of recently. I wrote about this on my blog on April 16th when first considering where I would make changes, Im biased obviously I live here.   Heres the Sandbanks road,  and another example where parking has been moved.

Heres some recent evidence from around the country where fails have happened, then been corrected. In Liverpool on 16th June 4.5 miles of cycleway was given wand protection- then after APPCG ( All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group) made Authority aware of their errors on the width of the work, it got widened to correct width that allows actual use by multiple user groups, cargo bikes, child trailers etc. Youll already know that for much of the year cycleways are subject to filling with leaves and rubbish, yet another reason why you might find individuals not choosing to ride in them. Wands have gone down on the roads in Blandford Forum now- for footway widening, so expect to see these soon on our roads.

The bottom picture shows London and CS8. A lane made for movement of many people in very short space of time. Heres a post about how this can happen.

In BH area-  How can this work on next schemes? as Ive mentioned before, and asked BCP for more engagement, these slides below show exactly why consultation is essential for success with these upcoming road changes. In fact in all new TCF work. Other Authorities have community Liason Officers employed to continually engage with residents. Thanks to Ben Addy of Sustrans who provided these for the Ideas with Beers session last week.

Alongside this I saw some quotes from Chris Boardman this week, made to GVT representatives. These illustrate how to frame the upcoming changes really well and Ive shared these with BCP Comms, Council Leader and Cllrs.

“If you can ride, youre helping free up road space for those that cant, thankyou”

“Thanks for your patience, this lane is for those who normally rely on public transport.”

“Not everyone has a car, we are looking after everyone, thanks for your patience”

So it becomes live change.

(In the wider Dorset area, 17/07/2019 two public and  one stakeholder engagement meetings were held by Dorset Council about Leigh Road Scheme in Wimborne ,I am still trying to get any information on this scheme and designs, thats nearly 1 year since, and Im still trying to find out what is happening with it? )

At least seeing the date schedule on the subject of this post shows how things could quickly happen- when the impetus is there. Do comment below, share, and use the twitter @bhactivetravel or facebook pages.


Jason Falconer

Orienteering coaching, cartography, teacher training, Head Coach at Wessex Orienteering Club. Cycling coaching level 2 BC, Track, Trail/ Tech MTB leader, Bikeability, Safer Urban Driving Instructor, E-bike Instructor.