Consultation guide: Cambridgeshire County Council Active Travel Strategy

Cover of Cambs Active Travel Strategy (draft)Name of consultation: Active Travel Strategy for Cambridgeshire
(shortlink: tinyurl.com/ATS-Cambs

From: Cambridgeshire County Council

Format: Online survey OR speak to staff/complete a survey at one of the public events listed on the consultation website.

Deadline: Monday 7 November

The county council say that its new active travel strategy “aims to make active travel the ‘go to’ option for local journeys”. The document is a child document of the region’s Local Transport and Connectivity Plan which was consulted on earlier in the year. It also aligns with the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan which presents details of which schemes across the county should be prioritised for delivery. Following consultation, the council says a programme of schemes for future funding bids and delivery will be finalised, and published in spring 2023.

Find out more on the consultation website, where you can also download a pdf of the Draft Active Travel Strategy for Cambridgeshire.

Note that consultations on the overall transport strategies for Huntingdonshire and Fenland districts are also taking place at the same time as this one.

Summary of Camcycle’s views

We agree with many of the proposed policies in this document. We suggest that there are some that are missing: based on our campaigning experience and feedback from local groups, we’d like to see policies added on Lighting, Safe Junctions, Integration with Public Transport, Cycle Parking, Wayfinding and Low-Traffic Neighbourhoods.

Consultation response guide

Click here to go direct to the consultation survey and then use the guidelines below to help you shape your response.

3) How far do you agree/disagree with the Active Travel Strategy for Cambridgeshire’s vision?

We suggest you answer AGREE

4) Please provide any comments on the draft Active Travel Strategy for Cambridgeshire’s vision.

Suggested text:

Comfortable, attractive, direct, and coherent should be included in the final sentence and that the word ‘many’ should be removed, so it reads ‘will become the go-to travel option for local journeys’.

5) How far do you agree/disagree with the draft Active Travel Strategy objectives?

We suggest you answer AGREE

6) Please provide any comments on the draft objectives for the Active Travel Strategy.

Suggested text:

Objective 1: Active travel has many environmental benefits such as reducing air pollution and noise pollution, not just greenhouse gases.

Objective 4. We would suggest that two additional points are included to highlight the importance of missing links in the network and dangerous junctions.

7) How far do you agree/disagree with the policies in the Active Travel Strategy are the right ones to deliver its vision and objectives?

We suggest you answer NEITHER AGREE OR DISAGREE

8) Please provide any other comments on the draft policies. If there are any topics/issues not covered where a policy would be useful, please include this below. Please refer to policy numbers or page numbers where applicable.

Suggested text:

The following policies should be added:

  • Lighting
  • Safe Junctions
  • Integration with Public Transport
  • Cycle Parking
  • Wayfinding
  • Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

Policy AT04: Ensure that Active Travel is prioritised in new developments: There need to be consequences for proposing schemes that are non-compliant with LTN 1/20 otherwise developers will fail to meet the land-use requirements of active travel.

Policy AT06: Prioritisation of user hierarchy: The combined authority must ensure that the user hierarchy is embedded in the design process and the policy must explain how failures to apply the user hierarchy will be prevented in the future.

Policy AT08: Accessible and inclusive provision:The 2010 Equality Act is mentioned but the proposed wording is not strong enough to prevent the continuing practice of installing barriers that exclude non-standard cycles used by those with a protected characteristic.

Policy AT08: Accessible and inclusive provision: Legally-binding active travel access must be considered for active travel routes across developments. The execution of such an agreement must be a planning condition because mere inclusion in plans routinely results in non-delivery.

Policy AT09: Safety for all: Improving safety should be primarily focused around improving driver behaviour. Too often the convenience and directness of the active travel network is reduced on the grounds of safety. Cyclists are regularly asked to dismount from the bike, or to press crossing buttons, and drivers are given priority over cyclists on safety grounds. This rhetoric must change, the Highway Code has put greater emphasis on the responsibility of people driving and design must factor this in.

Policy AT09: Safety for all: We would promote an evidence-based approach to decision-making which is transparent. We know from the Vision Zero team this evidence base exists, but decision makers, often in local areas, base decisions on individual views that are often unsupported and in terms of cycling, often increase risks. This is often the case when exclusionary barriers are introduced.

Policy AT10: Improve existing walking and cycling provision: There should be greater detail on the different types of missing links. A missing link could be a barrier that prevents full use of a link for many cyclists, a physical missing section of cycle track, a missing drop kerb or a street that is too busy with traffic and where a modal filter is required. Understanding this difference is key to improving existing routes. Minor interventions can make a significant difference and even the best cycle routes can be improved.

Policy AT11: Improve supporting infrastructure of the existing network: Lighting, cycle parking and wayfinding should each have their own policies. Specific details need to be given on each policy, e.g. use of solar studs for lighting, standardised wayfinding signs and parking standards for developments.

Policy AT12: Adopt the Healthy Streets approach: Information on how the scheme performs against the Healthy Streets indicators should be made public early in the design stage. This would be a useful consultation document as the information is easily digestible and relatable for the public.

Policy AT17: Creating a quality active travel network: Highway schemes have been delivered using land acquisition and, where required, compulsory purchase order. This should be no different for active travel.

Policy AT18: Cycling in urban areas: There should be a paragraph on the benefit of short-term trials. They provide an effective way of measuring the long-term effects of a scheme, can be used to test modelling predictions and also demonstrate benefits to the public.

Policy AT18: Cycling in urban areas: Whilst a useful tool, modelling is not effective at understanding behaviour changes. The results of modelling are correlated to the input, which are often based on assumptions. When modelling concerns arise and are raised as a potential barrier, the modelling parameters must be made public. There should also be wider discussions on the key input parameters used in such modelling, e.g. active travel modal share, and vehicular mode targets.

Policy AT18: Cycling in urban areas: Reference should be made to redistributing green-light time to active modes at traffic signals. On many crossings and junctions, the active travel phase is short and irregular.

Policy AT21: New developments and design standards: To support active travel in new developments, vehicular junctions must be designed with ambitious targets. Too often a worst-case position on car use is taken which negatively impacts active travel users and creates a self-fulfilling circle of car dependency.

Policy AT21: New developments and design standards: Schemes should look to set highly ambitious targets for active travel, in much the same way as that has been done in the past for car use during the modelling phase. Vision and validation are required, as opposed to predict and provide. We note that trip budgets have been an effective tool in ensuring that developers correctly prioritise active travel.

Policy AT23: Reprioritising road space for active travel: Dutch-style cycle streets should be added to the list of potential schemes.

Policy AT24: Promoting active travel: The policy should draw attention to the fact that behaviour change is easiest at times of transition in people’s lives so an emphasis is needed on promotion when people move house, switch jobs, have children, begin secondary school etc.

Policy AT27: Active travel modes and new technologies: The policy identifies that the County Council will support trials of new technologies such as e-scooters. This is not a form of active travel and is only strictly relevant in terms of the way the active travel network will be affected by these users. The acceptance of e-scooters onto the active travel network furthers the need for more Dutch-style cycle infrastructure with increased capacity. Whilst the e-scooter schemes and similar can reduce vehicular trips, there is barely any situation in which that user could not have completed a journey by bike or e-bike.

Policy AT27: Active travel modes and new technologies: The county should promote e-bikes or bikes in any further trials or schemes for shared micro mobility, instead of e-scooters. This is because e-bike journeys still bring many health benefits to the user and can promote transition to personal bikes. Furthermore, the county should require shared micro-mobility schemes to make available a variety of tricycles, adapted cycles or e-scooters specifically designed to provide access to the service in a way that is suitable for people with protected characteristics under the Equality Act of 2010.

9) How far do you agree/ disagree with the active travel action plan of schemes and interventions will help to deliver the vision and objectives of the Active Travel Strategy for Cambridgeshire over time?

We suggest you answer AGREE

10) Please provide any comments on the active travel action plan e.g. new scheme/study suggestion or suggested removal of a scheme/study.

There are still many examples of walking and cycling improvements that are required that are not included within the LCWIP and district strategies. For example:

  • Active travel route between Waterbeach and Cottenham
  • Upgrade of the active travel route from Impington to Milton.
  • Active travel route between Stretham and Ely
  • Active travel route between Cambourne and Cambridge
  • Active travel route between Papworth Everard and Cambourne
  • Active travel route between Huntingdon and St Ives
  • Active travel route between Stretham and Waterbeach New Town
  • Active travel route between the Guided Busway and Impington Village College
  • Active travel route between Orwell and Wimpole
  • LTN 1/20 compliant A10 cycle path between Milton and Waterbeach
  • Cycling within the villages – installing modal filters and cycle lanes on main roads within villages and smaller towns to prioritise active travel

There are also too many minor improvements to list, such as the need to remove exclusionary barriers from the network.

‘AT111 – Audit of existing routes’ is currently a tier 3 action which must be brought up to a tier 1 action with a short timescale. The existing network has many barriers for users and this action is low cost/ high impact and would allow many more people to travel actively across the region.