DORSET Council has been awarded £438,000 from the government’s Active Travel Fund to make walking and cycling improvements across the county as we move towards a greener, cleaner community.
The government survey work has shown that 77% of people in England support reducing traffic in towns and cities and 78% support reduction in traffic in their local area/neighbourhood.
Cllr Ray Bryan, portfolio holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said: “Over the summer months, we heard ideas about where improvements could be made to support more walking and cycling. Thank you to the 1,000-plus residents from across the county that responded!
“We reviewed all the ideas. We then spoke with local members and stakeholders, such as town councils, on the ideas that could be progressed relatively quickly, following a consultation period]. We then analysed those ideas in more detail and initial feasibility design work was completed.”
- 1,306 people submitted their views, 948 of whom were later verified to ensure views were not multiple responses from the same email address
- 899 comments were submitted in the Dorset Council area
- 4,379 agreements with these comments were made
- The wards with the highest number of comments were Melcombe Regis and Bridport (64 each)
The three main themes (accounting for 66% of comments) identified by residents and businesses were provision for cycling (434 comments), reduced speed of traffic (396 comments) and improved provision for walking (320 comments).
Individual responses can be viewed at https://dorsetsafestreetsmap.commonplace.is/
From this evidence, and in discussion with other key stakeholders, Dorset Council has identified a shortlist of high priority projects which can be implemented quickly and will deliver the biggest impact. Residents will be asked for their views on these ideas in a consultation which will launch shortly.
£128k to support the re-opening of town centres
Earlier in the year, Dorset Council was awarded £128,000 as part of the Emergency Active Travel Fund, together with further support from the Re-opening the High Streets Fund. The aim of these funds were to support more people to walk and cycle to help town centres to re-open after the first lockdown.
Some examples of where this money was used were:
- Part time closure of Shaftesbury High Street to enable safer access to the town centre and safe operation of the market
- Minor closure of road and reorganisation of one-way working and bus provision at West Bay to enable greater pedestrian space
- Widened footways from parking spaces in Wimborne Minster town centre
- Road closed in Lyme Regis to permit safer access for pedestrians
- Widened footways from carriageway space in Blandford Forum
- Widened footways from parking spaces in Swanage
- Roads closed, taxi ranks and loading bays suspended and carriageway re-allocated to provide additional footway space and market space in Bridport
- Altered signals timings at toucan crossings to minimise waiting times for pedestrians and cyclists
- Maintenance of existing cycle paths to restore full width use and support social distancing
- Additional cycle parking in town centres and at one school
- Cycle monitoring upgrades on new and existing cycle links to monitor impacts on cycling and pedestrian usage of the network
- School Streets interventions to restrict access during pick up and drop off times (Upton and Dorchester)