Dear Mayor Norma Redfearn and Cllr Nick Forbes
The previous devolution deal showed strong support for integrated transport in the region, but looked critically weak on active travel. There was no mention at all of the infrastructure investment required to support walking and in particular cycling as part of an integrated sustainable transport solution.
We ask that Newcastle and North Tyneside negotiate to secure as part of its devolution deal an ambitious package for walking and cycling, and from this to commit the delivery of a £30 million strategic cycleway programme to be implemented over the next three years. As well as connecting areas of housing directly to major employment sites, places of education and commerce, the aim of the programme should also be to connect heavy rail and suburban light rail stations to high quality cycle routes.
Increasing the catchment of existing transport hubs through better active travel links is at least as important as building new hubs.
Department for Transport (DfT) has announced that in 2016 they will help local bodies that are serious about increasing cycling and walking in their local areas, to take a more strategic approach to improving conditions for cycling and walking. DfT want regional government to scope and budget for a planned cycling network linking key origins and destinations and providing high-quality walking environments.
Only a strategic programme coordinated at regional level can overcome the barriers to the delivery of a high-quality active travel network, and only an investment package on this scale can have the required impact and deliver sustainable economic growth.
We’d be delighted to hear from you.
Chair & Committee Newcastle Cycling Campaign
Management Committee North Tyneside Cycling Campaign
Cllr John Harrison
Cllr Ged Bell