This meeting was the last with Alasdair, the County Council’s Senior Cycling Officer who originally set them up. It’s uncertain how the meetings will continue: that depends on the County’s current restructuring. At present the work on the County’s Cycling and Walking Strategy is being co-ordinated by someone wearing a public health hat; in future, cycling may lodge with Safer Transport and/or Environmental Projects. (I didn’t realise we were so unclassifiable.)
The agenda is attached.
In brief, the two-and-a-half-hour meeting touched, inter alia, on the following:
- The government’s Cycling and Walking Investment Plan is due out for consultation in March 2016. This will set out the criteria for the next 4-5 years.
- The government is setting up an interim Access Fund for Sustainable Transport this autumn, and Lancashire County Council intends to bid for funds – hence the County’s current work on a cycling and walking strategy, so that it has a framework within which to bid. The government’s focus – and perforce the County’s – is on access to employment for the unemployed, access to education, and economic growth. From our point of view, cycle tourism (e.g. the Bay Cycle Way or the Way of the Roses) covers the latter.
- Lancashire’s Countryside Services department is being closed down. They currently maintain the Glasson path among other assets. It looks as though this work will move to Highways.
- Dynamo was concerned to hear about the rapid transit study (bus/tram) between Lancaster and Morecambe, as one possible route is straight along the greenway. Apparently this is a feasibility study which has to be carried out under the conditions of building the M6 link road; the likelihood of us losing the greenway seems remote.
- We picked over proposed work on the A6 south by Lancaster University’s proposed Health Innovation Campus and Booth’s supermarket. A bit of a dog’s breakfast.
- We need to check the County’s 2016/17 capital programme next month to see if the Heysham-Lancaster route is in it.
- We also looked at routes in Morecambe, with the ongoing work to better link the town centre to the prom. The level crossing has been enlarged as it is part of the Way of the Roses.
We ended with thanks to Alasdair for facilitating these meetings and listening to our gripes for the last 12 years or so.