Cambridgeshire’s Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP)

Cambridgeshire’s Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) forms part of the Government’s ambition to increase walking and cycling, particularly to school, in the UK by 2025 as outlined in the first Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS, 2017) and more recently the CWIS 2 published in July 2022. The CWIS sets out the Government’s aim to make walking and cycling the natural choice for all short journeys, or as a part of a longer journey. Following publication of the CWIS, government guidance recommended that local authorities should develop Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans for their area, and the Department for Transport advised that local authorities who have plans will be well placed to make the case for future investment.

Developing the LCWIP

A working group was formed in July 2018 comprising Cambridgeshire County Council officers and different local stakeholders including Camcycle, Cycling UK and the British Horse Society.

Cycle routes and core walking zones for each district were identified according to the criteria set by CWIS and applying the methodology used for identifying higher demand cycle routes and walking zones across the county. The cycling and walking routes were then prioritised by district. These prioritised routes were included within the Cambridgeshire LCWIP.

Public consultation

The draft LCWIP was consulted on in Summer 2021. Responses were considered as part of a final review of the document.

A large number of detailed comments on both the survey and map were received, a summary of the main themes and our response is detailed below.

The final LCWIP was approved for adoption at the Highways and Transport Committee in October 2022. The plan is not a static document and will be updated on a regular basis.

Read a copy of the consultation report and updated LCWIP documents here

All LCWIP schemes are included in the draft Cambridgeshire Active Travel Strategy vision of the future network as Tier 1 schemes. Comments received as part of the LCWIP consultation were fed into the development of the draft Active Travel Strategy and additional scheme proposals were considered in the development of the proposed future network as tier 2 schemes.  The Active Travel Strategy was consulted on in the autumn of 2022 and will be considered for approval by the Highways and Transport Committee in March. 

Comment

CCC response

Further action

Use of outdated 2011 census data

Government guidance requires that we undertake a ‘propensity to cycle’ exercise using census data. The most recent, complete census data available is from the 2011 census. Complete district specific data from the 2021 Census is not yet available and is expected to be affected by the specific travel patterns prompted by the pandemic. Whilst it will be important to review this data when it is available it is not appropriate to rely on it to develop the LCWIP at this time

Use full 2021 census Data when it is published to undertake a ‘propensity to cycle’ refresh and amend the LCWIP as necessary

Lack of focus on active travel connectivity in rural areas

The ‘propensity to cycle’ information demonstrates a higher likelihood of uptake in urban areas., The data demonstrates where there are higher numbers of people making short journeys which can be easily walked or cycled and thus routes which, if improved, are likely to lead to a greater increase in journeys made by active and sustainable means and greater reduction in short car journeys. Consideration of prioritised routes by district did counter this to a certain extent. We very much recognise the importance to residents in smaller villages of being able to walk or cycle to the nearest larger village, market town or Cambridge city in order to access education, public transport and employment as well as leisure and retail destinations. This is a very strong message from both district councils and from villages. A very large response to the consultation from villages such as the Wilbrahams reflects the feeling of isolation in an area poorly served by public transport and the strong desire for a safe cycle route to the nearest village college or city/town. Some additional rural routes were included following initial stakeholder consultation with district councils prior to the wider consultation but no further routes have been added to the current LCWIP.

Consultation comments and additional route proposals were fed into the development of the draft Active Travel Strategy and considered as part of the Action Plan. Many of these focus more on rural connectivity.

Maintenance of active travel routes

Maintenance of existing and new routes is not addressed by the LCWIP.

The importance of maintaining existing and new active travel routes is highlighted in the draft Active Travel Strategy which includes policies and actions related to maintenance. A County Council Committee motion was also recently passed (July 22) which focused on reviewing the Highways Operational Standards and highway hierarchy in order to give greater priority to the maintenance and design of active travel routes.

Lack of focus on matters for those with mobility issues such as width/conditions of paths and shared use paths and lack of provision for equestrians

The description of schemes is very high level and as further feasibility and design work is undertaken users such as horse-riders and those with mobility issues will be carefully considered and will be consulted as key stakeholders at an early stage. New shared use paths segregated from traffic are suitable for more rural locations but will only be considered in more urban environments where other options are not feasible and then only if they have a high level of support. The Cambridgeshire Rights of Way Improvement Plan is the document which focuses on provision for equestrians.

A Non-Motorised User Design Guide is currently being developed which will address issues such as suitable surfacing for use by equestrians and for those with mobility impairments. Consultation is planned to be undertaken in the autumn with a view to the document being adopted in December. The draft Active Travel Strategy also focuses on accessible and inclusive provision.

Inclusion of walking routes for smaller market towns such as Ramsey and Littleport.

These have not been added for this version of the LCWIP but will be considered for future reviews.

The draft Active Travel Strategy and draft Huntingdonshire and Fenland District Strategies will further consider improvements to walking routes within market towns and this work will be considered in further reviews of the LCWIP prioritised walking routes.