New measures to increase access to cycling – including a bike-share scheme – have been backed by Warwickshire County Council.
The council’s cabinet approved recommendations aimed at increasing cycling routes and promotion of cycling in Rugby and across Warwickshire as both a viable means of travel and as a healthy pastime.
A report on the county’s cycling infrastructure went to cabinet following the findings of the Cycling Infrastructure Task and Finish Group.
This was set up to address concerns over the lack of connectivity between Warwickshire’s cycle paths. Foremost among its members’ concerns was how new developments were connected to schools, hospitals and areas of employment with the existing cycling network.
The county council says it will now develop a Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan – to be in place by 2020. The plan will set out long-term, prioritised and costed cycling infrastructure improvements – similar to prioritised lists of road improvements kept by councils – allowing it to identify potential funding for them.
To get the ball rolling faster, an interim list of schemes will be presented for cabinet approval later this autumn which will use existing financial resources.
Other ideas backed by the cabinet were a countywide bike-share scheme and better signage for bike routes.
The cabinet also agreed to work with district and borough councils to ensure proper cycling infrastructure is included in planning applications, covering both provision on-site for cyclists, and links to the wider cycle route network.
Cllr Jeff Clarke, portfolio holder for transport and planning said: “We are very grateful to, and have taken on board the recommendations of, the Task and Finish Group and we are determined to push this forward. We will also look for our partners, at district and borough councils along with developers to work with us and have cycling at the forefront of their minds.
“Our plans, certainly in the longer term, are very ambitious and we will need a lot of support at local level.”