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Plans for Dutch-style cycle network mooted for Woodbridge



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Plans for a Dutch-style cycle network in Woodbridge are to be explored which could result in a £20million scheme being established.

It comes as nearly £4million in Government cash has been secured for cycle schemes in Ipswich and Lowestoft too.

Suffolk County Council has confirmed that it has been awarded £80,000 from Active Travel England – a new agency under the Department for Transport – for a feasibility study into creating a ‘Mini Holland’ cycling system in Woodbridge.

Endeavour House in Russell Road, Ipswich. Headquarters of Suffolk County Council and Babergh and Mid Suffolk district councils. Picture: Jason Noble.
Endeavour House in Russell Road, Ipswich. Headquarters of Suffolk County Council and Babergh and Mid Suffolk district councils. Picture: Jason Noble.

Pilots have taken place in London and other parts of the country, and features Dutch-style cycling infrastructure to encourage cycling as the main way of getting about town.

It would include redesigned junctions to make them safer for cyclists and pedestrians, segregated cycle routes on busy roads and reduced numbers of roads vehicles would be able to use town centre streets.

If the feasibility study is accepted by the DfT, around £20m will then be unlocked to deliver the scheme.

Alexander Nicoll, Conservative councillor for Wickham and deputy cabinet member for transport strategy at Suffolk County Council. Picture: Suffolk County Council.
Alexander Nicoll, Conservative councillor for Wickham and deputy cabinet member for transport strategy at Suffolk County Council. Picture: Suffolk County Council.

The county is one of 19 authorities to be confirmed for a study today.

It comes as £3.84m has been awarded for four Suffolk cycling schemes – three in Ipswich and one in Lowestoft.

In Ipswich, a new cycle route will be created on the A1214 Woodbridge Road between the Heath Road roundabout and Beech Road in Rushmere St Andrew.

In addition, a route is planned in Nacton Road between the Maryon Road and Alan Road junctions, as well as in Princes Street between Civic Drive and the rail station.

For Lowestoft, a new scheme is to be delivered in Normanston Drive between Gorleston Road and Peto Way.

Full details of the works and expected dates of work are yet to be announced.

Alexander Nicoll, Conservative deputy cabinet member for transport strategy at Suffolk County Council, said: “We have done exceptionally well to be chosen for all of this funding and it demonstrates the council’s ambition in this field.

“If we want to get people out of their cars for short local journeys we must develop ways of encouraging them to do so.

“High-quality walking and cycling infrastructure enables more people of all ages and abilities to choose active travel for short and medium length journeys, something that will have a real impact on congestion and pollution.”

Andrew Stringer, leader of the opposition Green, Liberal Democrat and Independent group, said: “Any moves to promote sustainable modes of transport is to be welcomed broadly.

“To make this [Woodbridge] trial successful it will really need to be worked on across every level of the community. This cannot be imposed from above, it must be worked up from below.”

On the Ipswich and Lowestoft schemes, he added: “This is a really welcome move. I am glad we have got this £3.84m, it’s just a shame we didn’t get anything for Bus Back Better to help it go even further in terms of sustainable transport.”

The funding comes as part of a £200m package of upgrades announced this week.

Active Travel commissioner Chris Boardman said: “This is all about enabling people to leave their cars at home and enjoy local journeys on foot or by bike.

“Active Travel England is going to make sure high-quality spaces for cycling, wheeling and walking are delivered across all parts of England, creating better streets, a happier school run and healthier, more pleasant journeys to work and the shops.”