Sunderland residents to have say on plans to boost cycling and walking routes

Council chiefs have agreed to launch a consultation on a new plan aiming to boost active travel on Wearside.

Thursday, 16th September 2021, 5:05 pm
Council chiefs have agreed to launch a consultation on a new plan aiming to boost active travel on Wearside.

Earlier this week, Sunderland City Council’s cabinet agreed the next steps for the draft Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP).

The plan aims to encourage Sunderland residents to travel sustainably, boost healthier travel and to help bring infrastructure up to standard.

It has also been prepared in line with Department for Transport guidelines and will help the city council prepare funding bids for major transport schemes.

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Deputy leader of Sunderland City Council, Cllr Claire Rowntree.

Councillor Claire Rowntree, deputy leader of the council and portfolio holder for environment and transport, presented a report on the draft plan at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, September 14.

The report sought cabinet approval to launch a consultation to gather views from the public, businesses and stakeholders.

Cllr Rowntree said: “The LCWIP is a city-wide plan for cycling and walking intended to be informed through engagement with residents, businesses, interested groups and stakeholders on a programme of infrastructure improvements that will encourage citizens to use active travel modes for work and leisure.

“It will enable the council to access future funding opportunities in line with developing government policies.

“The plan considers the value of cycling and walking in delivering wider economic, social, health and environmental policies and strategies and sets out a strategy for creating an integrated, high-quality, accessible and well-maintained cycling and walking network that connects people and places within Sunderland.”

Cllr Rowntree added that the plan would assist the council in the preparation of business cases and funding bids for future investment from several sources, including the Active Travel Fund and Transforming Cities Fund.

Councillors heard that the consultation will be publicised through media campaigns, social media, community networks and partnership arrangements.

The draft for consultation will also be housed on Sunderland City Council’s website with further accompanying information, allowing interested parties to make comments.

Consultation on the plan is expected to last for four weeks and once it has closed a final version will be produced taking comments into account.

This document is expected to return to cabinet for discussion and adoption at a future date.

The cabinet report and draft LCWIP can be found on the council’s website at www.sunderland.gov.uk