The Lancashire Active Travel Fund
An overview about EATF schemes in Lancashire
Lancashire was awarded £2.8m for delivery of the second phase of its Active Travel Fund programme -an amount that puts the region in the 15th position in terms of budget allocation1. Lancashire County Council (LCC) is using that budget to implement two permanent schemes: a Low Traffic Neighbourhood in Sandylands, and a super cycleway connecting Penwortham to Preston. These measures are part of the County Council’s strategy to promote walking and cycling for regular journeys, complemented with other temporary measures carried out in Lancaster, Preston and West Lancashire in accordance with the authority’s ten-year strategy for Cycling and Walking.
In addition to the deployment of the schemes, LCC is also delivering a consultation plan and a monitoring and evaluation programme targeted at assessing outcomes and outputs. Both are considered as an “essential part of the process of delivering successful schemes within local communities” and results will be used to inform future development of plans to foster active travel.
Permanent schemes (EATF Phase 2)
Sandylands Low Traffic Neighbourhood
A Low Traffic Neighbourhood will be implemented in Sandylands (Morecambe) through the implementation of modal filters. This area was chosen after a study that revealed it offered a combination of traffic-related issues with an ideal social and urban fabric.
Sandylands is a residential area immediately behind Morecambe’s seafront that encompasses primary and secondary schools, places of worship, local shops and communities. It is one of the most disadvantaged communities in Lancashire (approximately two-thirds of the area is in the 10% most deprived nationally). Traffic collisions are problematic in the area: 46 collisions were registered for the period between 2014 and 2018 in Sandylands and West End, resulting in a total of 70 casualties. According to LCC, “20% of these casualties were children. Of the collisions, 17 involved either a cyclist or a pedestrian, representing 37% of the total” (LCC 2021a).
The expectation is that LTN will reduce the number of traffic incidents and improve the living conditions for residents. A consultation is planned for 2021 to get feedback and local insight from people who live and work in the area.
Penwortham to Preston Cycle Superhighway
As part of (Emergency) Active Travel Fund Phase 1, a popup cycle lane was deployed in Penwortham’s Liverpool Road (see map), following DfTs National Propensity to Cycle Tool (reports, web app) results showing great potential for bike adoption in that area. Due to its success, LCC will be consolidating and extending it through the creation of a key strategic corridor (the “Cycle Superhighway”) connecting the town of Penwortham with Preston City centre, Preston main line railway station and the University of Central Lancashire.
LCC expectations are that the Cycle Superhighway will present “a real opportunity to deliver a step change in provision for pedestrians and cyclists along this desired line corridor connecting residents with local facilities, education sites and the city centre, helping to realise significant potential to encourage increased walking and cycling journeys along this route. Increased active travel journeys can not only reduce the number of cars on our roads, reducing congestion and improving air quality, but also provides health and wellbeing benefits.” (LCC, 2021b)
Other temporary schemes in Lancashire include the following ones:
- Dalton Square (temporary closure to traffic to aid social distancing, and assist the temporary relocation of the Charter Market from Market Square to Dalton Square)
- South Road in Lancaster (both sides of the road)
- King St in Lancaster (protected cycle lane) and Queen Square in Lancaster (modal filter, cycles only)
- Additional side road closure along Fishergate to reduce traffic and support social distancing
- Strand Road (protected cycle lane)
- Ruff Lane will be closed to through-traffic at its junction with St Helens Road to reduce the number of vehicles using Ruff Lane, making it a quieter route which is better suited for cyclists.
- Yew Tree Road, Ormskirk (modal filter, cycles only)
Next month we report on the Leicestershire Active Travel fund.