A ten-year strategy to get the people of Barrow on their bikes has been accepted in outline today by Barrow Local Committee of Cumbria County Council. The plan aims to increase the number of journeys by bicycle made by people of all ages. It could cost between £1 million and £2 million over the ten years, with funding being sought from a number of sources.
Councillor Kevin Hamilton, vice chair of Barrow Local Committee and chair of its Highways Advisory Sub-Group, said:
"There are advantages all round in promoting the use of cycling. "Cycling is both environmentally and people friendly. It benefits the environment by reducing the number of cars on the roads and so reducing pollution. It's cheaper to go by bike rather than use the car. And cycling also helps people to become and stay fitter and healthier. "Barrow had a tradition of cycling to work in the heyday of the shipyard and the bicycle is still a popular means of transport in the area. We want to build on that by providing the environment, the facilities, training and encouragement needed for people to take to two wheels again in large numbers."
The Barrow strategy will, as part of an integrated transport plan, encourage people to cycle as a means of transport and for leisure. The strategy lists engineering works needed to provide cycle routes, and proposes other facilities cyclists need, as well as training schemes for cyclists and other road users. Among the targets it sets are: · The number of trips undertaken by bicycle to rise to five per cent by 2005, eight per cent by 2012 and ten per cent by 2015 · Six per cent of all secondary school pupils to be cycling to school by the end of 2005 · Ten per cent of all journey-to-work trips to be made by cycle by 2012
It also aims to reduce the number of cycling accidents and cycle thefts and to keep cycle routes clear of debris.
Cycling promotion in schools is to be increased and cycle training schemes will be developed for both children and adults. Promotions will focus on health, convenience and environmental benefits. Schemes to encourage vehicle drivers to be more cyclist-aware will also be developed. The strategy also aims to establish a ten-year rolling programme of works and preparatory schemes. A list of proposed works to build on the existing cycle facilities includes shared footways and cycle ways, advisory or mandatory cycle lanes, new cycle tracks on roadside verges, and signed routes and quiet lanes. Funding for the works is expected to come from a variety of sources.
The strategy recognises that protecting their machines from theft is vital for cyclists and will aim to provide secure cycle parking and storage at a range of destinations such as the bus-rail interchanges, the town centre, hospital, schools, colleges, work places and public buildings.
The draft proposed by the Barrow local committee's highways advisory sub-group and accepted by the committee today is the starting point for consultations with other bodies and individuals to develop the strategy.