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New transport strategy will enhance active travel across Cambridgeshire

02 March 2023

A new strategy to enhance walking and cycling routes across Cambridgeshire is set to be adopted.

Cambridgeshire’s Active Travel Strategy will be voted on by members of the county council’s Highways and Transport Committee at its meeting on 7 March.

The strategy has been put together through input from stakeholders, including local authority officers and campaign and interest groups, with changes made after focussed stakeholder engagement and public consultation which received hundreds of responses.

The four key themes which have emerged from the process – and which are embedded in the strategy - are the four E’s: Embrace, Enhance, Expand and Encourage.

The aim is to make active travel the ‘go to’ option for local journeys which will not only improve people’s health as well as provide another travel option for people not able to travel by car, but will also help the council reach its ambitious target of the county becoming carbon net zero by 2045.

Moreover, the strategy will help the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority deliver its Local Transport Plan for the county.

The combined authority, supported by the county council, has recently been successful in securing funding from Active Travel England which will help create an Active Travel Centre of Excellence in Cambridgeshire. This will play a significant role in growing active travel across the county.

Cllr Alex Beckett, chair of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Highways and Transport Committee, said: “This new strategy is both ambitious and deliverable and will help us put active travel at the heart of everything we do.

“By giving people options and enabling them to leave the car at home we can all feel the benefits of safer streets, cleaner air and better health.

“I would like to thank everyone who helped produce this strategy, and for the hundreds of people who took part during our consultations whether at in-person events, or by filling out our online survey.”

The Highways and Transport Committee will now be responsible for making sure active travel schemes are brought forward, with funding to be sought from several sources.

Alongside the strategy, a draft Active Travel Toolkit for New Developments has been produced which will help embed walking and cycling provision in all new developments in Cambridgeshire.

An Active Travel Design Guide has also been created which will help address the challenges of providing new active travel routes whilst protecting the qualities of existing public rights of way for all non-motorised users, particularly in rural areas.

The design guide contains information for designers on how to produce routes which are appropriate for active travel while considering the needs of all non-motorised users and will be consulted on when installing new active travel routes or changing existing routes (e.g. altering a footpath into a bridleway).

The guide will initially focus on rural areas, but long-term will help the council reach its goal of a connected and continuous network of safe, inclusive, active travel routes.

The Highways and Transport committee papers can be found on the council’s website

The meeting will be live streamed on the council’s YouTube page.