Proposals from the County Council

I have received the following e mail from Victoria Lloyd, the County’s Sustainable Travel Officer, which people may find of interest

 

Dear Durham City Cycling Forum Member

 

many thanks to all those who attended the Forum meeting a fortnight ago. The notes of this and the previous meetings are on the DCC cycling page.

 

Below are a few updates:

  • I have been working with colleagues to prepare the works schedule for 2013/14 and we recently had a meeting to determine which schemes would be delivered. The Local Transport Plan Funds are reduced for the countywide Walking and Cycling budget to £500,000 but we have an additional new fund of £200,000 for Cycle Super Routes (so it works out the same as this years budget but under 2 headings).

 

At the January DCCF meeting we carried out a mapping exercise for the Cycling Super Routes and this was taken to the meeting to discuss priorities for works.  There is an ever growing list of walking and cycling scheme proposals and they are growing in size so it’s getting increasingly important to prioritise. The following are our proposals for the 2013/14 priorities which I’d appreciate your thoughts on:

For Cycle Super Route Fund

(i) Consider the Great North Cycleway the main focus or spine for the Cycling Super Routes. The County Council has signed up to this project in partnership with neighbouring authorities. The project aims to create a high quality promoted route from Blythe to Darlington which will link main settlements along a north-south line through the County (Chester le Street, Durham City, Ferryhill, Newton Aycliffe). This route idea was also identified as a strategic cycling route by the Forum.

A lot of the GNC route will run through County Durham so we will need to phase the works according to the budget available. All of the route will be audited as soon as possible so we can determine whole costs of the scheme.

This project will make improvements to existing cycling access and fill in missing links. It will be predominantly for active travel but where there is scope to provide a quieter, greener alternative we will look to include that option in the plans.

Whilst all of the route warrants audit and improvements, we propose that Phase 1 of the County Durham section will be to look at the northern section at Chester le Street to link into Gateshead.

 

(ii) A second large project will be the creation of a multi user route from Crook to Bishop Auckland. Phase 1 will end at Engineman’s Terrace, near Howden le Wear to link in with the existing MUR from Witton le Wear. A feasibility study has been carried out on this scheme.

It is proposed that in 2013/14 the DCC land over which the path would run is safeguarded from sale or encroachment by fencing off a strip of land.

This scheme was also identified by the Forum as a strategic cycling route. Once linked to Bishop Auckland, we can join it to Shildon, which with the Shildon-Aycliffe route will link Crook-B.Auckland-Shildon-Aycliffe-Darlington. This will be potentially really important access to employment route when the Hitachi factory opens in Heighington.

 

For the Walking and Cycling Fund

Please note: the full scheme list is yet to be determined but it will hopefully include:

  • Phase 2 of the works to proposed new NCN14 route through Durham City (Phase 1 this year to surface paths either side of Prebends Bridge)
  • Match funding for the Cycle Safety Schemes.

 

Other major walking and cycling schemes proposed for 2013/14 will be (not necessarily from the budgets above):

  • The building of the Shildon-Aycliffe route (3.5kms) alongside the railway line from the Locomotion museum. We had the very good news recently that DfT via Sustrans have granted £300,000 for this route to be built by Dec 2013. DCC is also contributing a significant capital fund to this scheme.
  • The next phase of the East Durham Rural Corridor Route which will link Sedgefield to the Trimdons and will eventually create a link to the Environment Award winning Limestone LinX routes around Coxhoe.

 

I will circulate a work programme in the next couple of months, but in the meantime if you have any comments on the proposals above please let me know.

 

Other news:

  • There is still no news about our Cycle Safety Fund bid.
  • I have taken the Forums Key Routes and Maintenance Issues Map to a meeting with a Highways Maintenance Manager to begin discussions about getting problems with overgrown hedges, potholes etc mended in Durham City. We have agreed a way forward for reporting problems on the roads, which is through the HAL system. I will submit all the appropriate issues from the map to HAL and will set up another meeting to discuss winter maintenance with another colleague.
Richard posted at 2013-2-18 Category: Local Cycling Issues