Mayor urged to intervene over ‘misuse’ of Peterborough biking cash

In a letter sent to the county’s metro mayor and the Federal government, Peterborough Cycle Forum has strike out at the city council for ignoring the advice of its individual operating team to use new funding to proceed offering a devoted lane at Crescent Bridge.

In its place, the council has decided to spend funds from the Section for Transportation to create a totally kerb-segregated cycle lane connecting Longthorpe to the Thorpe Wood Business Park and South Bretton.

The cycle discussion board claimed the new lane will be element of an upgrade of the A1260/A47 Soke Parkway junction which is being funded by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Merged Authority – led by Mayor Nik Johnson – although this has been disputed by the council.

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The pop-up cycle lane has been removed from Crescent Bridge
The pop-up cycle lane has been removed from Crescent Bridge

For now, the pop-up lane in Crescent Bridge has been removed, with the cycle forum professing that the council is in its place thinking of a new foot and cycle bridge to sit together with Crescent, which it believes would price at minimum £10 million and consider a lot of years to produce.

Council chief Cllr Wayne Fitzgerald claimed the pop-up lane was not becoming utilised and was primary to a rise in targeted traffic.

The DfT’s Crisis Active Journey Fund was set up throughout the coronavirus pandemic to stimulate strolling and biking as aspect of social distancing actions.

Funds was handed in excess of to the blended authority which then channelled some of it in the direction of the metropolis council.

A map of the proposed A1260 will work

In its letter to Mayor Johnson, the cycle discussion board criticised the Conservative Cabinet’s conclusion on how to allocate its subsequent set of £470,000 funding, producing: “We experience this final decision is a misuse of the DfT’s funding and as this kind of has extremely serious implications for the combined authority, specially with regards to accessing future funding for going for walks and cycling, and street techniques.

“Therefore, we urge you to connect with the final decision in and allow your Transport and Infrastructure Committee to scrutinise the final decision.”

The Nene Parkway functions include things like developing a third lane northbound involving Junction 33 (Longthorpe Parkway) and Junction 15 (Thorpe Wooden/Soke Parkway), as nicely as an further lane towards the Bretton Way exit on the roundabout and the substitution of a pedestrian bridge in excess of the A1260.

In addition, the plans consist of a new pedestrian crossing over Thorpe Wood to the present bus stops, reconstruction of the footpath amongst Thorpe Highway Bridge and Longthorpe (potentially designating it as shared use for biking) and enhanced biking services alongside Thorpe Highway.

In its letter to Mayor Johnson, the cycle discussion board explained Crescent Bridge is “an essential, strategic corridor” and that paying out £470,000 on strengthening the pop-up lane would “ensure pedestrians, cyclists, wheelchair buyers and motor automobiles are all safe and sound, and separated”.

It extra: “We have major issues that the DfT will not allow Peterborough Town Council to use their Tranche 2 of the Energetic Travel Fund on the Junction 15 (A1260

Nene Parkway/A47 Soke Parkway) plan.”

This is due to the fact: “It is currently a multi-million pound street plan, currently being built to produce a lot more ability for motor motor vehicles.”

It included: “Walking and biking infrastructure really should have been regarded as through scheme growth and funded properly. There should not be a have to have to use Tranche 2 of the Energetic Journey Fund funding to deliver the scheme up to regular.”

The cycle discussion board also accused the council of not carrying out a general public consultation on its ideas.

The regional authority stated only the highway advancement element at the A1260/A47 is remaining funded by the blended authority.

Cllr Fitzgerald stated: “With the countrywide coronavirus limits coming to an close it is essential that we continue to aid the area economic system and preserve our metropolis moving freely to aid its recovery.

“The Crescent Bridge momentary cycleway scheme was set up underneath the Government’s Emergency Active Vacation Fund and has been kept it in location for a variety of months while we have been monitoring its use.

“On regular, there have been only 60 cyclists for every working day. The funding has arrive to an stop for the short term actions and, as a end result of the low number of cyclists applying it and the continued establish-up of visitors, subsequently the cycle lane has been uninstalled.

“The council is continuing to build strategies to open up the western side of the rail station to passengers. This is an additional exciting development in the town centre which will contribute to considerably less targeted visitors about Crescent Bridge to accessibility the rail station.

“This task will let us to revisit the Crescent Bridge cycleway possibility no matter if that usually means a lane reduction, or a new cycle bridge, these factors will be investigated as the venture develops.”

The initially tranche of govt funding for energetic transportation of all-around £175,000 was invested by the council on actions such as pop-up biking lanes in Crescent Bridge, Priestgate, New Street, City Road and a compact segment of Lower Broadway, while all have now been eliminated.

The council’s Biking and Going for walks Member Functioning Group was authorised by the council past September.

Two of its three suggestions – that funding for university street closures really should proceed and the doing work team be made long-lasting – had been adopted by the Cabinet earlier this month, while its backing to carry on the Crescent Bridge scheme was rejected.

Mayor Johnson has been approached for comment.

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