Investment needed to remove county’s cycling barriers’ say Lib Dems

February 12, 2015 5:09 PM

Liberal Democrats on Gloucestershire County Council have called for a £300-500K investment in this year's 2015/2016 budget as the first step towards removing cycling barriers across the county.

The recommendation being put forward by the Liberal Democrats in this budget would see the removal of a number of different types of cycling barriers in Gloucester, Cheltenham, Tewkesbury, Stroud and Cirencester.

At last September's council meeting, the Liberal Democrats in efforts to promote cycling across the county received cross-party support for requesting a study to be undertaken to identify those routes considered problematic for cyclists.

The Council commissioned Atkins Consultants to undertake this study, which was completed and considered by the Environment and Communities Scrutiny Committee last month.

Cllr. Paul Hodgkinson (LD: Bourton-on-the-Water and Northleach) who had called for this study to be undertaken said:

"The study has proved to be useful in that we can now identify many of the routes across the county where there are barriers to cycling.

"The report is helpfully coded in that each barrier has been given a Red Amber Green (RAG) rating according to deliverability and indicative cost.

"There are over 70 'Green' coded barriers across the county listed in the report. Unlike the 'Amber' and 'Red' coded barriers, the intervention costs involved with removing the 'Green' coded barriers are not as high and could be delivered relatively easily.

"Removing these barriers is the first stage of our push for more help for cycling across the county. With further investment other towns will come next.

"It is important that the momentum is not lost now that the wheels are finally in motion. Investment in this area is vital and what we're proposing will drive cycling further forward in Gloucestershire."

Ian DobieLiberal Democrat Spokesperson for Public Health and Communities Cllr. Iain Dobie (LD: Leckhampton and Warden Hill) also said that "Cycling should be for everyone, not just the speedsters in Lycra. We want to break down the barriers to cycling to school or the shops, to work or for leisure. The rewards could be massive: millions of pounds in savings for the NHS, less pollution and congestion, and greater safety and happiness."

This recommendation is one of many proposals that the Liberal Democrats will be putting forward at next Wednesday's council budget meeting at Shire Hall.