Improvements to pedestrian and cycle routes given major funding boost
Plans to improve pedestrian and cycle routes in Swindon now have extra momentum following a successful funding bid.
Published: Monday, 22nd May 2023
Swindon Borough Council has been awarded £381,500 from Active Travel England in the latest round of funding to help support the development of key infrastructure for cycling and walking across the Borough.
The funding will be crucial in taking forward plans to improve cycle connectivity in the town centre as well as improvements to key routes in the north and east of the Borough, catering for different types of trips and travel needs.
The town centre improvements will focus on complementing the ongoing investment currently underway at Fleming Way to make the town centre more accessible for cyclists, pedestrians and disabled people, improving links between the railway station and the other main pedestrian/cycle routes into the town centre.
Part of the Active Travel funding will also be spent on carrying out initial feasibility and concept designs to upgrade the existing cycle and pedestrian route, which links Tadpole Garden Village with the town centre.
The route, which forms part of the National Cycle Network Route 45 and runs through Westmead, is a strategic north-south link.
The Council is also working closely with Thames Water to improve the route in the short term as part of planned water main works this year.
The third proposed scheme put forward for funding, will explore introducing lighting on the cycle path-footway, which runs parallel to the new Southern Connector Road to improve a key active travel route from the New Eastern Villages into Covingham and other established communities in the east of the town.
The Council plans to undertake extensive public engagement on all the proposals, including engaging cycling, walking and access groups to ensure the proposed schemes take on board ‘access for all’ principles in their design and approach.
The engagement will be an extension of the Council’s recent Swindon Transport Conversation Survey, which asked key questions about active and sustainable travel now and in the future
Councillor Chris Watts, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment and Transport, said: “We are really keen to promote active travel as much as we can because it is not only great for the environment, it brings so many health and wellbeing benefits.
“These schemes are still at a very early stage and the funding will be used to carry out design feasibility and, importantly, engagement with residents and businesses as it is vital we hear from those who currently walk and cycle as well as those who may be tempted to do so in the future.
“We will then use the comments and feedback we receive to inform the schemes as we take them forward to the detailed design phase.”