The Worcestershire Active Travel Fund
In Worcestershire, transport policy and proposals for 2018-2030 were set out in the Local Transport Plan 4 (LTP4), which was adopted in late 2017. Their LTP4 set out a series of policies promoting active travel and identified a number of ‘active travel corridors’ to be implemented when funding became available. Active travel corridors are conceived as walking and cycling links along a corridor to link key trip attractors including schools, train stations and employment locations. These include ‘surfacing, lighting and public realm improvements to create an attractive and coherent network’ (LTP4 p. 25).
The Worcestershire Phase 2 Active Travel Fund bid was based on the County’s indicative allocation of just over £1M and proposed four active travel corridor schemes centred on the busiest and most well used walking and cycling routes. These schemes, which were supported by partners, including local District Councils and the Canals and River Trust included the following (see summary below from the Worcestershire County Council website).
Worcestershire was awarded £649,200 from the Phase 2 fund. As the amount of funding received was significantly less than bid for, the County Council has requested feedback from the Department for Transport to clarify how this reduced allocation should be spent. This feedback will be used to refine their consultation plan. The initial plan sets out the basic details of the four schemes below (see Consultation Plan: Active Travel Corridors: Wyre Forest, Worcester, Redditch and Pershore. The planned timeline is:
- Planning and production of materials: March to May 2021;
- Promotion of the exercise: from end May 2021;
- Delivery of the Consultation: 7th June to 16th July, 2021
- Analysis and Reporting: End July 2021;
- Re-evaluation in response to comments and agree final designs: End July/August 2021
- Implementation: Autumn 2021 (programme to be determined)
Four active travel corridors under consultation
Pershore: Infrastructure Improvements – Wyre Road Active Travel Corridor
Part of a much wider road scheme, this proposal involves the provision of a separated, high quality active travel route along Wyre Road. This will link the large villages of Wyre Piddle and Pinvin to Pershore Secondary School, Pershore Station and the Keytec Business Park. It has existing good quality onward connections to Pershore Town Centre and proposed onward connections to Evesham and westwards towards Worcestershire Parkway and Worcester. This scheme will also include comprehensive waymarking and installation of walking and cycling counters for ongoing monitoring.
Redditch: Arrow Valley Active Travel Network
This proposed scheme involves upgrading and enhancing the capacity and utility of a valued network of routes through Arrow Valley Country Park in Redditch, including a section of National Cycle Network 5. This network provides direct access between residential areas, industrial estates, the Alexandra Hospital, Redditch Town Centre and the Railway Station, so has significant potential to attract greater levels of use by new and existing users. This proposal also includes waymarking and walking and cycling counters.
Worcester: Diglis to Sixways Active Travel Corridor
This proposed scheme involves the extensive widening and resurfacing of a popular active travel corridor and connecting links. It links the City Centre directly with the extensive business parks and commercial sites on the northern fringes of the city, Shrub Hill Rail Station, Worcester Leisure Centre and a number of residential areas. Upgrades include surfacing, widening and waymarking improvements along with cycling counters. This will to enable increased levels of walking and cycling across the city and beyond.
Wyre Forest: Stourport to Kidderminster Active Travel Corridor
Involves the comprehensive widening and resurfacing of the canal towpath along the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal that links Stourport with Kidderminster. In addition, a number of links will be created into nearby trip attractors including the Minster Road Employment Area, Silverwoods, Churchfields, Crossley Retail Park, Stourport and Kidderminster Town Centres (with onward connections to Kidderminster Rail Station). This proposal also includes waymarking and walking and cycling counters.
Later this month we report on the Lancashire Active Travel Fund.