Active travel and cycling and walking infrastructure are not the responsibility of the District Council, but at East Cambs we have a history of getting the evidence we need to successfully lobby for projects outside of our remit and get them delivered by other authorities, such as Cambridgeshire County Council and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority.
In 2020 the District Council sent a survey to every household in the district asking people to identify new cycling and walking routes to complete gaps in the network, especially those that will encourage more local walking and cycling, journeys to access places of education, employment, health care, public transport and essential services. We also asked for information about paths that need repairing, decluttering, or safety improvements.
The results of the survey are being used to develop a Cycling and Walking Routes Strategy, which will help us to evidence the changes we need and lobby for funding to deliver new routes and improve existing ones. There are a number of potential funding sources including central Government, the Combined Authority, Section 106 funding (where it can be linked to specific developments) and potentially Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funding which is controlled by the District Council. CIL is essentially a “roof tax” on most new development in the district.
In the meantime we have selected six priority cycle routes and commissioned Sustrans (the cycling charity) to produce Feasibility Studies which will help us to understand the feasibility of delivering certain routes and getting them closer to being ‘shovel ready’, so that when the funding comes we are ready to go!
The routes that we have commissioned Sustrans to undertake Feasbility Studies on are:
- Fordham – Burwell
- Haddenham – A142
- Little Downham – Ely
- Littleport – Chettisham – Ely
- Swaffham Prior – Reach – Burwell
- Wicken to Soham (update work from 2013 report)
Conservatives at East Cambs are doing everything we can to be as ready as possible and to make the case to the funding bodies for investment into Active Travel in the district.