Major new proposals have been set out to improve walking and cycling for people across the Tees Valley through the implementation of the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan.
The plan, which is now open for public consultation, sets out a number of infrastructure improvements and investments across the region to make it easier for people to cycle and walk, particularly for shorter journeys, and to connect people more easily into the wider transport system.
The Infrastructure Plan has been brought forward following a detailed transport survey during the coronavirus pandemic. The survey found that 38% of respondents cycled more during lockdown, 55% of respondents walked more during lockdown, most respondents all intended to continue their taking their new modes of travel and that 73% want better walking and cycling infrastructure.
An initial five priority corridors have been identified as part of the long-term approach to delivering a step-change in local cycling and walking networks. The first two projects currently open for consultation are Woodland Road, Darlington, and Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough.
The Woodland Road corridor in Darlington will link its town centre to Cockerton, including Darlington Memorial Hospital, Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College, West Park, and Faverdale. Phase 1 delivery will link Darlington Memorial Hospital to Darlington town centre through a mix of protected space for cycling on the highway, improved road crossings for cyclists and pedestrians and quieter back streets.
Middlesbrough’s Linthorpe Road corridor will connect the town centre to Acklam. This proposal will link into sections of the Tees Valley cycling and walking network that have recently been delivered, which provide onward links to Thornaby and Stockton.
Tees Valley Combined Authority Cabinet Lead for Transport Cllr Heather Scott said: “The development of high-quality cycling and walking links is vital in connecting residents to employment, leisure, health, retail and other essential services across our boroughs.
“As we recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, providing our residents with healthier and greener travel options is a must. Encouraging our communities to stop using their cars for short journeys by investing in local cycling and pedestrian infrastructure will reduce congestion and carbon emissions in our town centres.”
Three further corridors are being proposed which include Hartlepool town centre to Wolviston, Stockton town centre to Norton and Billingham via Norton Road and Guisborough to Nunthorpe.
Details of the consultation and to view the proposals can be found at www.teesvalley-ca.gov.uk/consultations, or by phoning 01642 524400 for a paper copy of the plans. The deadline for comments is Friday 29 January 2021.