The development of Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs) by local authorities across England provides a great opportunity for community rail partnerships and groups to help improve active travel connections with rail. ACoRP is working with the DfT to help community rail groups get involved in this important work.
Promoting sustainable, heathy and active travel is one of the key pillars of the Community Rail Development Strategy (CRDS). Encouraging and enabling walking and cycling to stations as part of the daily commute or as the starting point for longer, recreational trips is one of the ways that the strategy can be acted upon. Community rail partnerships and station adoption groups can play their part by promoting and enhancing walking and cycling routes to and from stations, and identifying and spearheading opportunities to improve facilities, as well as feeding into wider plans, such as LCWIPs. These are currently being developed by 46 local authorities supported by the DfT and its partners, as set out in the Department for Transport’s Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy.
What is an LCWIP?
An LCWIP is a long-term approach to developing local cycling and walking networks over a ten-year period and forms a vital part of the Government’s strategy to double the number of cycling journeys made and increase walking activity substantially by 2025.
These plans are administered by local authorities, receiving technical and strategic support from the DfT and partners such as Sustrans, Living Streets and Cycling UK. With this assistance, LCWIPs will assist local authorities in:
- Identifying cycling and walking infrastructure improvements for future investment in the short, medium and long term;
- Ensuring that consideration is given to cycling and walking within local planning and transport policies and strategies;
- Making the case for future funding for walking and cycling infrastructure.
Community rail can play a key role in these plans, using its specialist knowledge and experience to advise on how plans can be effectively linked up with rail, and encouraging rail commuters and day-trippers to get to the station through healthy and sustainable means.
What can you do?
Contact your local authority (see list below for local authorities receiving LCWIP support) and outline what support and expertise your organisation can offer in terms of linking their LCWIP with rail travel. We advise members to get in contact within next month or two. Please contact the active or sustainable transport officer at your local authority (normally in local authority highways departments).
Themes for you to think about could be:
- How LCWIPs could be aligned with plans to develop the railway and/or local stations, such as tying in with improvements to station facilities and timetabling;
- Your knowledge of rail passengers’ views, barriers to rail travel (and active travel to stations, and how improved walking and cycling could unlock new opportunities for local people, through sustainable end-to-end journeys;
- Important walking and cycling infrastructure improvements that could be undertaken in partnership between you, the railways, your wider partners and local authorities;
- How you can bring relevant local partners together to facilitate infrastructure development and sustainable travel promotion.
List of local authorities receiving LCWIP support
- Bracknell-Forest Council
- Cambridgeshire County Council (Cycle Ambition City)
- Cheshire East
- Essex County Council
- Gloucestershire County Council
- Hampshire County Council
- Isle of Wight
- Kent County Council
- Lancashire, Blackburn & Darwen and Blackpool Councils
- Leicester City Council
- Leicestershire County Council
- Liverpool City Region
- Newcastle City & Gateshead Councils (Cycle Ambition City)
- Norfolk County & Norwich City Councils (Cycle Ambition City)
- North East Lincolnshire Council
- North Tyneside
- Northamptonshire County Council
- Nottingham City Council
- Oxfordshire County Council (Cycle Ambition City)
- Peterborough City Council
- Plymouth City Council
- Poole & Bournemouth Councils
- Portsmouth City Council
- Reading, Wokingham & West Berkshire Councils
- Rutland County Council
- Sheffield City Region
- Slough Borough Council
- Somerset County Council
- Staffordshire County Council
- Stevenage Borough Council & Hertfordshire County Council
- Surrey County Council
- Tees Valley Combined Authority
- Transport for Greater Manchester (Cycle Ambition City)
- West Midlands Combined Authority (Cycle Ambition City)
- West of England Combined Authority (Cycle Ambition City)
- West Sussex County Council
- West Yorkshire Combined Authority (Cycle Ambition City)
DfT’s guidance on the development of LCWIPs is available here.