Transport & Getting Around

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 has shared updates and considered:

  • A proposal for establishing e-bikes and e-cargo bikes was introduced by some group members and supported by others.
  • 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.