It’s a busy time within the Transport Department at BCP Council which can only mean good things for us here at BH Active Travel.
The design teams and engineers are busy working through plans and implementation of 4 new cycle corridors (consultation closes 31st March) and two sustainable travel corridors, all with improvements to walking provision, bus provision and cycling. These ’Transforming Cities Fund’ (TCF) schemes are being funded mainly by central government with top ups from both Dorset and BCP Councils and stakeholders, including Beryl and the bus companies. These six TCF routes are, if you like, the main arteries of the infrastructure plan, with the new LCWIP (Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan) providing the network of veins and capillaries or ‘meat on the bones’. Timescales for the TCF schemes are delivery on the ground during the next three years, after which the Council will begin works on the LCWIP, which we understand will be dependent on acquiring more funding. BCP Council has a good record of acquiring funding, which involves huge amounts of work putting schemes forward to the Department for Transport. Only nine authorities won TCF awards, with BCP receiving one of the largest sums at £79m.
BH Active Travel are currently invited to stakeholder meetings to discuss the TCF plan which so far has meant fourteen hours of Zoom! We are excited to see some really good infra coming but we are always pushing for best practice, best design and best connectivity. That part is not always easy as inevitably budgets don’t always allow for the perfect scenario. Some of the schemes we’ve seen are awesome, miles of protected cycle lanes and continuous footways for example. We’ve sent the Transforming Travel team at BCP Council some slides to illustrate how we’d like to see some of the schemes. We particularly like this image, which we feel is a better option than some of the shared path routes for example.
The consultation for the four TCF cycling schemes closes on 31st, so, if not already done so, pick a route that you know and have your say. https://haveyoursay.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/transforming-travel
NEW Consultation Just Announced – LCWIP
The schemes we are all probably more excited about are the those that join the proposed TCF network together – our everyday walking and cycling routes – to the shops, to school, to work etc. These are the ‘meat on the bones’ and form the LCWIP. Consultation opened on 25th March, so again, please do have a look and fill in the survey and use the interactive map. Our understanding is that the LCWIP is a longer-term strategy, with work commencing after the TCF schemes are in place (from 2023). Wouldn’t it be dreamy if we could click our fingers and every line on the map was a protected cycle lane and a safe, even pavement with safe crossings!
In other News
On March 25th, Chris Heaton-Harris, the Minister of State for Transport announced MORE funding available to local authorities for cycling and walking improvements under the title of ‘Cycling and walking investment strategy 2’. BHAT will be asking the Portfolio Holder at BCP Council what plans are in place to hopefully make a successful bid for some of these new funds.
The Whitecliff improvements consultation has now closed and we all look forward to seeing the proposed design.
The new pedestrian and cycling crossing at Holes Bay Road is nearing completion. There have been concerns raised about the sharp right angled turns required to join the shared route by the water (not following the desire lines) which make manouvering difficult on a bike and BHAT will be raising these concerns with the Council.
Enjoy the Easter break everyone and happy walking and cycling!