Plans to spend £4.2m on cycling in Colchester

Council aims to boost cycling by 75 per cent

by Tony Farrelly   November 7, 2008  

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Plans have been submitted to Cycling England which aim to increase the number of people cycling regularly in Colchester by 75 per cent.

The Essex town is one of Cycling England's Cycling Demonstration Towns and under the plans the government and Essex County Council  will both stump up £2.1m of investment to be spent on infrastructure, education and promotion, communication and partnerships, and planning and monitoring. The money will be spent over the next three years.

The strategy aims to increase the number of cyclists riding regularly by at least 75%, and also increase the number of residents who cycle to work and school through working with individual businesses and schools, and using them as examples for other organisations to learn from.

According to the council the infrastructure part of the investment will be spent on building new cycle routes and improving existing ones, particular emphasis will be put on helping residents and visitors get to and from the town centre, railway stations, and new development and growth areas. The announcement of the plan was shorter on the specifics of where routes would actually go, but then that's what the "planning and monitoring" bit of the budget is for…

The strategy aims to increase the number of cyclists cycling regularly by at least 75%, and also increase the number of residents who cycle to work and school through working with individual businesses and schools, and using them as examples for other organisations to learn from.

The plan also hopes to encourage cycling to schools and colleges and on top of that there will be provision for Workplace Travel Plans implemented, leisure rides and events for families, and bike hire schemes for visitors and tourists.

Engaging people and giving them opportunities to ride their bikes is what the "communication and partnership" part of the strategy is all about and a big part of that will involve working closely with organisations such as CTC, Colchester Borough Council, University of Essex, schools, colleges, Sustrans, Network Rail, National Express East Anglia, cycle shops, health organisations and the other organisations which form part of the Colchester 2020 Local Strategic Partnership and have signed up to the Colchester Cycling Town project.

The final slice of the budget will be spent on planning for new developments around Colchester and measuring how successful the scheme has been.