Bid to improve routes for walkers and cyclists moves forward

Suffolk is filled with a range of cycling routes, suitable for all stamina levels Picture: Getty Ima

A plan has been drawn up to try to encourage people to walk and cycle more in Mid Suffolk and Babergh - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Nearly 200 projects have been included in a "wish list" to improve walking and cycling in two Suffolk districts.

Babergh and Mid Suffolk district councils’ cabinets will next week be asked to agree the local cycling and walking infrastructure plan (LWCIP) which outlines a series of short, medium and long-term work needed to encourage people to get out of their cars and on their bikes or walking.

Among the schemes are:

  • Continuous cycle routes connecting Sudbury town centre with residential areas;
  • Improved cycle route along A12 between Capel and Washbrook;
  • Improved crossings at busy A1071 junctions in Hadleigh;
  • Segregated cycle route through Hadleigh high street;
  • Shared walking and cycle path from Acton to Long Melford;
  • Cycle path along B1456 between Shotley and Chelmondiston;
  • Improvements to pavements between Bramford and Ipswich;
  • Safer provision for cyclists at A14 Junction 52 for Great Blakenham;
  • A14 Junction 49 roundabout work to connect with existing cycle route in Stowmarket;
  • Better segregation from traffic on B1113 between Bramford and Claydon, and Stowmarket and Old Newton.

Schemes would include a mix of measures, such as widening existing paths, creating new pavements or cycle paths, reduced vehicle speed limits, improved signs or new quiet lane designations.

jessica fleming

Jessica Fleming, Conservative cabinet member for the environment and Rickinghall ward member at Mid Suffolk District Council, and Hartismere division councillor at Suffolk County Council - Credit: Mid Suffolk District Council

Mid Suffolk District Council’s Conservative cabinet member for the environment, Jessica Fleming, said: “Having this plan in place will enable us to work with Suffolk County Council to ensure active travel schemes best meet the needs of the district’s residents.

“We are particularly interested in linking residents with schools and public transport and therefore reduce reliance on personal vehicles.”

Councillor Elisabeth Malvisi

Councillor Elisabeth Malvisi, cabinet member for sustainable transport, climate change and biodiversity at Babergh District Council - Credit: BABERGH DISTRICT COUNCIL

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Babergh’s Independent cabinet member for sustainable transport, climate change and biodiversity, Elisabeth Malvisi said: “We’re committed to helping make sure sustainable transport such as cycling, walking or public transport can be a more natural choice for our residents.

“Also we’re keen to see an increase in the uptake of cycling and walking, with our residents and local businesses alike getting involved, to support Suffolk’s countywide ambition to become carbon neutral by 2030 while improving health and wellbeing at the same time.”

Both councils’ cabinets are recommended to approve the plan on Monday - though funding is an issue still to be examined.

Leigh Jamieson, Green group leader

Leigh Jamieson, Green group leader and South East Cosford ward councillor at Babergh District Council - Credit: BABERGH DISTRICT COUNCIL

Leigh Jamieson, opposition Green and Labour group leader at Babergh, said: “The need for such measures is even more acute given the rocketing price of petrol and diesel and their impact on the cost-of-living which really hits people living in rural areas hard as they are more dependent on their cars."