Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
Members considered the Fenland Walking, Cycling and Mobility Draft Strategy report presented by Councillor Seaton.
Councillor Seaton thanked the Hereward Community Rail Partnership for their assistance in funding and helping with the development of this strategy.
Councillor Mrs French said she welcomes this but asked that the draft document be updated throughout as it incorrectly refers to the March Area Transport Strategy (MATS) as the March Area Transport Study; emphasizing it is a strategy not a study. Many things being worked on in the MATS have been costed through the County Council and some of the things highlighted in the MATS are not in FDC’s strategy. She welcomes the Cycle 63 from Whittlesey to Peterborough but pointed out in the MATS we had improved the NCN63 cycle signage and local signed route at a cost of £12k; also down near the prison was also highlighted so she asked if these could be included. Councillor Mrs French added that she welcomes the possibility of a cycle path from the Peasehill roundabout to Mill Hill providing no road space is used as it would be too dangerous and there is enough curb space to do it. Councillor Mrs French thanked officers for their hard work in such a short space of time.
Councillor Seaton echoed Councillor Mrs French’s thanks to officers and confirmed he was happy to make the changes she outlined.
Councillor Tierney stated that he supports the strategy and all the plans and schemes within it but as this is a public meeting, he wanted to raise a particular issue. He said that it is common for the public to see walking, cycling and mobility and conflate it with highways and paths, forgetting which council does which. However, this strategy must go hand in hand with proper maintenance of highways and paths, which is not Fenland District Council’s responsibility. Therefore, he would like to see in the future when we work on such strategies, for us to encourage the County Council to think about how they allocate their budgets because paths and highways are not always maintained to the level the public would expect. He is concerned that very good work such as this is then overlooked because the public understandably focus on potholes. Therefore, he wanted to point out the difference between the councils whilst being in full support of this strategy.
Councillor Boden thanked Councillor Tierney, saying his point is entirely correct and the issue of the improvement of highways maintenance has been included within the report.
Councillor Laws said she fully supports this strategy; it is ambitious. It has proved since Covid-19 that the public are walking and cycling more, particularly in her area between Whittlesey and Peterborough when NHS staff and essential workers have been using that route. She has received many reports about punctured tyres etc and trips after dark. That route is so well used, and she believes there will be a huge response to the consultation. It allows our children to come off the A605, one of the busiest and most dangerous A roads as they cycle to Sir Harry Smith.
Councillor Benney said from a Chatteris perspective, he also fully supports this strategy. The plans for Chatteris provides better connectivity to the retail park which will further develop in time and there will be better and safer access for children to school.
Cabinet AGREED to adopt the strategy as Version 1 and to approve the selected schemes to develop costed proposals to be ready to put forward for funding.
Publication date: 13/10/2021
Date of decision: 30/09/2021
Decided at meeting: 30/09/2021 - Cabinet