Active Travel Plans for Farnborough
A Public Health report to Hampshire County Council’s Cabinet has highlighted how the Authority’s active travel plans to encourage walking and cycling will contribute to residents’ ability to maintain a healthy weight.
The report identifies that weight is influenced by wider environmental factors including the neighbourhoods in which we live, public and green spaces, transport and infrastructure.
In the Farnborough area, residents were invited recently to comment on design proposals for improvements, including those to encourage active travel, in Lynchford Road. This followed previously held successful stakeholder engagement events with organisations including Rushmoor Borough Council, North Camp Support Group, North Camp Matters, local retailers, cycle lobby groups and Farnborough International Ltd to gauge their views of the proposals.
Hampshire County Council’s Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment, Councillor Rob Humby said: “Coronavirus has affected the way we travel, and people are walking and cycling more, though traffic levels remain around 80% of pre-pandemic levels. This is an opportune time to make changes to our roads to support a prosperous, economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, whilst making it easier for people to walk and cycle to sustain healthier lifestyles, as well as helping to meet the County Council’s targets to reduce carbon emissions, as part of our Climate Change Strategy.”
Voicing support for active travel schemes, including the recently approved school streets trial initiative, Councillor Roz Chadd, Executive Member for Education and Skills, added: “In addition to the reduction in traffic and the benefits to health in terms of reducing air pollution and maintaining weight, from an education perspective, the more we can do to enable children to walk or cycle to school, the better. Not only does this help their physical fitness, it also helps their mental wellbeing and contributes significantly to their ability to stay focused and concentrate during the school day.”
Councillor Humby added: “The delivery of the Lynchford Road scheme, if agreed, would reduce the amount of traffic using the residential streets and spaces in North Camp as short cuts. This would provide the opportunity to rebalance the residential streets and spaces within North Camp for people, not traffic, and create a safer and more liveable neighbourhood, but this can only be done if the improvements to Lynchford Road are also implemented to reduce delays and accommodate greater traffic levels as a result. I hope that in the future we can then apply these principles more widely, and I will be following the school streets trial schemes very closely when they start later this year.”
In addition to the main Lynchford Road improvement scheme, changes to Old Lynchford Road and Camp Road are also being proposed, subject to the outcome of the recent consultation. Other proposed walking and cycling improvements for North Camp include:
Old Lynchford Road – to make improvements that could enhance the amenity space / public realm, provide more space for pedestrians and cyclists and reduce traffic flow.
Camp Road –to enhance the social distancing scheme already in place along Camp Road.
North Camp Low Traffic Neighbourhood Scheme – the proposals suggest capacity improvements along Lynchford Road which should reduce the amount of traffic that uses the residential and commercial streets in North Camp as short cuts. Low Traffic Neighbourhoods would provide the opportunity to rebalance the streets and spaces within North Camp for people, not traffic, and create a safer and more liveable neighbourhood.
This investment in walking and cycling is part-funded by the County’s £3.28 million Active Travel Fund, awarded to support a range of measures across Hampshire to create better spaces for walking and cycling in local communities.
In addition, there are also proposals for the delivery of bus priority and intelligent transport system improvements at Alexandra Road to reduce car journeys in North Camp. These proposals form part of the Blackwater Gold Grid 1 Project, funded by the EM3 LEP.
For more information visit: https://www.hants.gov.uk/transport/transportschemes/farnboroughgrowthpackage