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Make Lancashire cycling & walking better & safer - Have your say

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Dynamo's A6 Safety Campaign Map
Dynamo's A6 Safety Campaign Map. Click to enlarge
Author: 
Chris Satori

 

Lancaster campaign groups are hoping that the current consultation for a new Lancashire County Council draft 10-Year Cycling and Walking Strategy will be more than just a talking shop. 

County are asking for your views and say that "The strategy will shape local spending priorities aimed at developing Lancashire's walking and cycling offer over the next ten years, building on the range of high quality walking and cycling routes which already offer excellent access to the county's towns and cities and beautiful rural landscape.

"The ambitious plan aims to double the number of people cycling by 2026, and increase walking by 10% over the same period, with a focus on encouraging more primary-aged children to walk to school. The plan will help to tackle worsening levels of physical inactivity, with some areas in the county falling significantly below the national average."

A6 Lancaster South: UK's worst deathtrap for cyclists and pedestrians

But access to Lancaster from the South is far from 'excellent'. Figures released by the Road Safety Foundation in 2014 (download their report) put the 9km stretch of the A6 between Junction 33 and Lancaster city centre at number five in the UK’s persistently higher risk roads.  They also showed that the A6 has the highest number of fatal and serious crashes involving pedestrians and cyclists in the UK. 

Lancaster's cycling campaign group, Dynamo, identified the sections where most casualties had occured.  In April 2015, Together with the Council’s Road Safety Manager, they worked up a list of significant improvements needed at these points, as well as minor road-marking and signage updates. Dynamo claim that the council has managed to undertake the road marking and signage upgrades, but that the more significant improvements on their list have not been progressed.

 

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L New road markings added at casualty black spot in 2015. R Repainted 2017
New road markings at casualty black spot in 2015, repainted 2017. Photo - Dynamo

 

Two months ago Dynamo lodged a petition with Lancashire County Council demanding urgent action and stronger measures on making roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists. It closed last week with over 700 signatories. 

Group spokesman, Paul Stubbins said “We are now in the third year since Lancaster was highlighted as having the most dangerous road in Britain for pedestrians and cyclists, back in 2014, and yet the Council has so far taken no significant action.

"It has taken a determined effort to get them to look at the details of the accidents and to identify solutions, and yet still they seem unable to muster the resolve to actually complete the work. They talk about safety being a priority but the lack of action shows this to be nothing but hollow words”.

£500,000 found down back of County Council sofa

Recently, with the help of Green city councillor Tim Hamilton-Cox, campaigners discovered that a £500,000 fund had been made available to the County Council in 2012 by Lancaster Moor Development (under a Section 106 agreement) to improve the bus service to their new development and for improved provision for cyclists and pedestrians. But the money had not been touched. County Councillor Gina Dowding, the only Green on the County Council, championed their cause and now there is a new No 18 bus route and work is underway to create a new 3m-wide pathway on Quernmore Road alongside the cemetery, to be shared by pedestrians and cyclists. 

Consultation ends 21 April

Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, Lancashire County Council's director for public health and wellbeing, said: "Making it easier for people to walk and cycle brings many benefits, from improving people's health and wellbeing, reducing road congestion and improving local air quality, to providing access to job opportunities and supporting economic growth.

"There will be many opportunities to improve the routes, facilities and support for people to travel actively and safely, whatever the reason for their journey, and this strategy will underpin our approach.

"We're keen to hear what people think, and listen to any new ideas, and I'd encourage people to have their say."

Consultation on the strategy runs until Friday 21 April. To see the strategy and offer your feedback look under 'current consultations' on Lancashire County Council's website at

www.lancashire.gov.uk/haveyoursayhttp://www.lancashire.gov.uk/haveyoursay

You can find out more about Lancaster's Dynamo cycling campaign on their blog, and also on their Dynamo Cycle Campaign facebook page.

 

 

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