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Proposed new strategy to make active travel the ‘go to’ option for local journeys

28 February 2022

A proposed new strategy will aim to ensure active travel in Cambridgeshire becomes the ‘go to’ option for local journeys.

A draft Active Travel Strategy for Cambridgeshire will be discussed at a meeting of the county council’s Highways and Transport Committee on 8 March where members will consider endorsing it for further input from stakeholders.

The draft strategy, which was completed following a debate at a previous meeting of the committee back in December, will also help the county meet its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2045.

The four themes of the strategy are: Embrace, Enhance, Expand and Encourage, which encapsulate the key areas for change needed to ensure active travel is vastly increased in Cambridgeshire in line with local and national ambitions.

The themes have been decided upon following engagement with various stakeholders and groups.

Cllr Peter McDonald, chair of the Highways and Transport Committee, said: “Active travel is more important than ever as we aim to reach our ambitious target of the county becoming carbon net zero by 2045.

“We want to put the health and wellbeing of our residents at the centre and that is why active travel is one of the Joint Administrations’ top priorities. This strategy – once approved - will go a long way to making Cambridgeshire a healthier, cleaner and more inclusive place to live and work in.”

Since 2017, responsibility for producing a Local Transport Plan (LTP) has passed from the county council to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority.

The combined authority is now refreshing the LTP with continued input from the county council. The council will use its Active Travel Strategy to outline how the plan’s overall vision and objectives can be met by providing a greater level of detail that will be used to deliver high quality, safe, attractive and inclusive active travel infrastructure across the county.

If members endorse the draft Active Travel Strategy this will then go to stakeholders for further input. They would also help develop an action plan including a list of proposed areas of further work and potential investment.

Both the strategy and action plan would go out for public consultation late this year before being presented to the committee for adoption in early 2023. Once adopted, the strategy would be used when developers submit planning applications, with schemes assessed to make sure they represent and contribute to the high-level vision for a connected, quality active travel network across Cambridgeshire.

This will support tackling the climate emergency and improve the health and wellbeing of Cambridgeshire residents.

The committee papers (here) will be discussed at the Highways and Transport Committee on 8 March. The meeting will be live streamed on the council’s YouTube channel.