Cycling and Basingstoke Local Plan
Basingstoke has just finished its consultation on the pre-submission of the Local Plan which sets out where and how new houses should be built.
Heather Rainbow has sent in a reply on the behalf of cyclists.
The Local Plan will “promote” cycling by requiring developers to build “internal cycle routes” in some but not all new developments and linking these to “external cycle routes”. There is no requirement to connect new developments to the town centre, to create new external cycle paths, to provide space for cycling on all roads, both new and old and not destroy quiet pleasant routes already used by cyclists.
The plan states that cycle routes must be well lit and well surfaced and prevent conflict with traffic (I always thought that cycles were part of the traffic). There is no requirement for cycle routes to be signed, direct, convenient, comfortable and attractive let alone link all homes to all destinations.
There is a proposed Park to be built in Manydown which is to be connected to Winklebury by cycle routes, but there is no requirement to provide any other cycle links from Manydown, the Manydown Park or Oakley to Kempshott, Buckskin, South Ham and the town centre. CTC has asked for this to be remedied.
The CTC response stated that the transport requirements for development approval were not “sustainable”. The provision of a few cycle paths and cycleways within new developments is insufficient to enable people to cycle. Cycle routes/cyclepaths have been built in numerous developments over the last two decades but they are largely unused and unusable whilst the low levels of cycling have not changed. A cycle SPD (Supplementary Planning Document) or policy is needed to provide the necessary detail on how to achieve a cycle network which is fully integrated into the road network.
Basingstoke has no policies on cycling and no cycle strategy. Last Autumn CTC submitted a draft cycle policy and asked for it to be adopted. This has not been done, it would seem most on the council do not understand what is needed in order to permit cycling. Many councillors are actively against cycling, seeing it as too expensive and complaining that it is a waste of money building cyclepaths which are not used. Indeed a lot of money has been wasted on cyclepaths where they are not needed and also on paths which are difficult or dangerous to use. It is to be hoped that the county cycle strategy which is being created at present will remedy the situation.
The annual report from CTC North Hants Right to Ride representative Heather Rainbow can be found here:
Top of Town Consultation:
Following discussions with Council and Waitrose representatives regarding cycle infrastructure near the proposed new Waitrose site at Basing View, Heather publishes the following: