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Lancashire County Council urges residents to walk and cycle under new initiative

Posted on - 27th March, 2022 - 8:00am | Author - | Posted in - Health, Preston News, Transport
A cyclist in Avenham Park Pic: Paul Melling
A cyclist in Avenham Park Pic: Paul Melling

A new council initiative to boost physical activity aims to increase the number of Lancashire residents walking and cycling by 10 per cent.

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

The councils have urged residents to have their say on the upcoming cycling and walking infrastructure plans, with proposals to join the gaps in existing footpath and cycle networks to provide safer, direct and convenient routes.

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Cllr Charlie Edwards, the cabinet member for highways and transport at Lancashire County Council, said: “Lancashire is a great place for cycling and walking for all ages, whether 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 and a healthy and sustainable one.”

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Cllr Edwards said nationally, over 60 per cent of all journeys of between one and two miles are made by car, but the correct infrastructure will make it easier for people to make more of their regular journeys on foot or by bike.

The councillor said to develop the plan, the council needs people from across Lancashire to participate and provide information on what they require in their local area to gather views from people of different backgrounds and abilities.

There will be a plan for 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 can help shape the plans by taking part in a survey about current local cycling and walking provisions.

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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 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 several options we’re exploring at a local level, including proposals for the ‘Blackpool Wheel’ scheme, a 24-mile-long active travel route that would link the promenade to other open spaces in Blackpool.

“It would be great to see similar ideas as reality across Lancashire, but we need local people to come forward and share their views – we invite all Lancashire residents to get involved and have their say.”

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The council will work with each district authority to ensure their input and support for the plans.

Additional design and feasibility work will be needed to take the proposed schemes forward.

To complete the survey, visit – https://www.lancashire.gov.uk/council/strategies-policies

For more information, visit – www.lancashire.gov.uk/activetravel

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