Plans to explore Dutch-style cycling network in Suffolk town

Caroline Page/Andrew Stringer and Woodbridge town centre

Suffolk has received more than £3 million from the government to boost walking and cycling, with plans to look at a Dutch-style cycling system in Woodbridge. - Credit: Archant/Suffolk County Council/Jason Noble LDRS

A 'Mini Holland' cycling network in Woodbridge is to be explored after Suffolk received nearly £4m to invest in cycle schemes in the region. 

Active Travel England - a new agency under the Department For Transport - has awarded Suffolk County Council £80,000 for a feasibility study into creating the cycling system in the town. 

In addition, nearly £4m of government money has been secured for schemes in Ipswich and Lowestoft. 

The Dutch-style cycling infrastructure aims to encourage cycling as the main way of getting about town.

It would include redesigned junctions to make them safer for cyclists and pedestrians, segregated cycle routes on busy roads and reduced numbers of roads vehicles would be able to use in town centre streets.

Cllr Caroline Page

Cllr Caroline Page - Credit: Suffolk County Council

Woodbridge division councillor Caroline Page said: “It’s amazing, I am so pleased and it’s ground-breaking for Suffolk.

“You can’t treat a town like Woodbridge like you would a city where you can put in cycleways, so we are going to use the concept of Mini Holland to address the conflict of cars and pedestrians and cyclists rather more creatively.

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“This is the only one in Suffolk, so it’s wonderful for Suffolk because it shows Woodbridge could be a beacon for the way other smaller towns could go.”

If the feasibility study is accepted by the DfT, around £20m will then be unlocked to deliver the scheme.

Cllr Page said she hoped a public consultation would form a starting point for work.

The county is one of 19 authorities to be confirmed for a study today, with 12 being progressed beyond feasibility stage.

Councillor Alexander Nicoll

Councillor Alexander Nicoll - Credit: Archant

Alexander Nicoll, Conservative deputy cabinet member for transport strategy at Suffolk County Council, said: “If we want to get people out of their cars for short local journeys we must develop ways of encouraging them to do so.

“High-quality walking and cycling infrastructure enables more people of all ages and abilities to choose active travel for short and medium length journeys, something that will have a real impact on congestion and pollution.”

Andrew Stringer, leader of the opposition Green, Liberal Democrat and Independent group.

Andrew Stringer, leader of the opposition Green, Liberal Democrat and Independent group. - Credit: Jason Noble LDRS

Andrew Stringer, leader of the opposition Green, Liberal Democrat and Independent group, said: “Any moves to promote sustainable modes of transport is to be welcomed broadly.

“To make this [Woodbridge] trial successful it will really need to be worked on across every level of the community. This cannot be imposed from above, it must be worked up from below.”

The secured government funding will see a new cycle route created on the A1214 Woodbridge Road between the Heath Road roundabout and Beech Road in Rushmere St Andrew, in Ipswich.

In addition, a route is planned in Nacton Road between the Maryon Road and Alan Road junctions, as well as in Princes Street between Civic Drive and the rail station.

For Lowestoft, a new scheme is to be delivered in Normanston Drive between Gorleston Road and Peto Way.

Cllr Stinger added: “This is a really welcome move. I am glad we have got this £3.84m, it’s just a shame we didn’t get anything for Bus Back Better to help it go even further in terms of sustainable transport.”