Summary of discussions and activities
Chair – Keith Traill
Meetings have been held monthly since November 2021. The attendees have a range of interests and expertise covering buses, trains and the railway and cycling.
The principle focus for this group so far has been how much the volume of traffic works to the detriment of the town centre. Encouraging people to leave the car at home and cycle, walk or use public transport instead is likely to be at the heart of their activity. Discussions have included ways to encourage more cycling, including among school children, developing safety messages to raise awareness of other road users with drivers, encouraging work places to provide facilities and ensuring the town offering secure cycle storage.
There is recognition among the group that reducing the impact of vehicles in favour of more sustainable transport methods is very difficult to achieve. Public transport currently isn’t adequate or convenient and many people feel unable to cycle, due to fitness levels, road confidence and the perception of poor weather. Everyone is agreement that a blended approach is needed with an improvement in the use of all modes of sustainable transport. Acceptance, respect for other road users and education is needed, along with a general slowing down of traffic, to produce a more harmonious environment.
The group’s recent activity includes:
- Planning a meeting with Northern in the New Year to discuss potential options to improve the station approach and Longpool area.
- Maintaining good links with the Community Rail Partnership and Lakes Line Rail User Group.
- The team behind the Woolly Saddle Cargo Bike reported that the trial 5 week period has now come to an end with some great results, and more feedback will follow. To further develop the project, the team need clients who are prepared to pay for deliveries and more volunteers to ride the bikes. Funding is being sought and the group are keen to help. Contact details for the team can be found here.
- The group is looking at data relating to people movement around the town and immediate estates to help inform the potential for encouraging more cycling and walking. Research with informed the development of the Kendal LCWIP (Local Cycle and Walking Infrastructure Plan) from Cumbria County Council has been shared with the group. The use of mobile phone data is also being explored.
- Taking forward the Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning process presented by Alastair Kirkbride in September which ensures milestones are reached before plans are progressed to the next stage.
- How to develop a modal shift in Kendal from a reliance on the car for getting around to increased use of sustainable transport methods?- Linking to the recommendations from the Citizens’ Jury for Climate Change- Investigating how to produce a quantifiable outcome from the Go Dutch Target
– Creating streets which are less car dominated in favour of shared spaces, designated cycle parking and wider pavements with planting
– Integrating transport options and movement with mobility hubs based in strategic areas – places where you can travel to and then take another form of transport to continue your journey, such as catch a train or bus, pick up an electric bike or electric Car Club car.
Other topics considered by the group have included:
- The appearance of the railway station and how to improve access to it by improvements to the entrance and surrounding road junction.
- The impact of the new Road Traffic Act giving more priority to pedestrians and cyclists.
- General support for a town 20mph zone.
- The works to replace the Gooseholme bridge and related activities to promote walking and cycling.
- The need for electric charging infrastructure for all users – vehicles, e-bikes and e-scooters.
- An idea from the Placemaking and Environment Group to run a town wide carbon footprint project. The benefits could be to:
– encourage more people to scrutinise their consumption and find ways to reduce it.
– raise awareness of the recommendations from the Citizen’s Jury for Climate Change and related Vision projects.
– share the data with the local authority to support future funding bids or similar work, and compare with other towns to share good practice.