Draft Cycling and Walking Strategy 2021

Draft Cycling and Walking Strategy

1 Introduction

Purpose of the Strategy

1.1 The East Suffolk Cycling and Walking Strategy identifies potential cycling and walking infrastructure opportunities across the district. The Strategy focusses on the identification of new infrastructure opportunities rather than the maintenance of existing infrastructure. It provides context and information to support detailed infrastructure proposals and inform decision making to support cycling, walking, and equestrian use.

1.2 Once adopted, the Strategy will replace the Waveney Cycle Strategy (2016)[1] .

1. https://www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/assets/Planning/Waveney-Local-Plan/Waveney-Cycle-Strategy.pdf [back]

Preparation of the Strategy

1.3 In preparing the draft Strategy, the following key stages have been undertaken:

  • Review of the Waveney Cycle Strategy (2016), national guidance and best practice - Prior to starting work on the draft Strategy, a review of the measures within the existing Waveney Cycle Strategy was undertaken. This was done in parallel with a review of existing and emerging guidance and best practice. The outcomes of this process highlighted the need for the new strategy to focus on site specific opportunities, make the best use of digital presentation tools, and to avoid repeating general design principles that are already covered in other guidance.
  • Initial map-based consultation (19 October 2020 to 7 December 2020) - Consultees were invited to identify existing cycling and walking issues across East Suffolk and, where possible, suggest solutions to them. Respondents were encouraged to plot their response on an online map. Over 800 comments were submitted, and these can be viewed on the initial consultation map[2] .
  • Assessment of comments - Comments submitted as part of the initial consultation have been assessed against the methodology set out in chapter 3 and included within the Strategy as Community Recommendations.
  • Identification of Key Corridors and Site Allocation Recommendations - Officers identified Key Corridors and Local Plan Site Allocation Recommendations using initial consultation comments, Strava Metro[3] data (made freely available), Propensity to Cycle Tool ('PCT')[4] , and Public Rights of Way ('PROW') Definitive Maps[5] .
  • Steering group - In recognition of the fact that East Suffolk Council (ESC) is the Local Planning Authority and Suffolk County Council (SCC) is the Local Highways Authority, a steering group of ESC and SCC officers was established to inform and guide the development of the Strategy.
2. https://eastsuffolk.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=810e5f8977e144509f13120a00a341d6 [back]
3. https://metro.strava.com [back]
4. https://www.pct.bike/m/?r=suffolk [back]
5. https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/roads-and-transport/public-rights-of-way-in-suffolk/view-definitive-maps-of-public-rights-of-way/ [back]

Implementation of the Strategy

1.4 The implementation of the recommendations within this Strategy is key to ensuring that communities have access to high quality cycling and walking infrastructure. Through the review of the Waveney Cycle Strategy (2016) it was recognised that, while many cycling and walking infrastructure improvements were identified, relatively few had been implemented. The measures in this Strategy have therefore been through a thorough Multi-Criteria Assessment Framework (MCAF) process, which is set out in chapter 3.

1.5 The infrastructure opportunities identified within this Strategy, at this consultation stage, should not be read as prescriptive proposals, or as the only way in which the infrastructure improvements can be delivered, but as high-level opportunities. The Strategy should also not be seen as an exhaustive list of all of the cycling and walking infrastructure potential in the district.

1.6 The implementation of any measures in this draft Strategy are likely to need to be informed by further evidence gathering and detailed discussions with SCC as the Local Highways Authority as part of a long term strategy for the district. Further assessments of individual recommendations may also be required as part of the implementation, including (where necessary) Habitat Regulation Assessment.

1.7 In implementing the Strategy, it will be important to draw upon various funding and delivery opportunities. These may include:

  • Delivery through planning permissions on Local Plan site allocations and windfall development.
  • Delivery linked to permitted Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs).
  • SCC funding opportunities including the ongoing Active Travel Fund.
  • District and Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).
  • Future Central Government funding initiatives.
  • Other delivery options at the national and local level.

1.8 Whilst the primary purpose of the Strategy is to identify cycling and walking infrastructure opportunities, it also provides a useful function as an evidence base. For example, the Strategy could be used by a Neighbourhood Planning group to identify cycling and walking infrastructure improvements within a Neighbourhood Plan, thereby providing greater weight to such improvements in planning terms. It could also be used to inform a Development Brief for a Local Plan site allocation.

1.9 Once adopted, monitoring of the Strategy's delivery will (as appropriate) form part of the Council's Authority Monitoring Report (AMR), which is published annually.