Active Travel is a key component in the ambition of North Yorkshire Council to become carbon negative by 2034. It provides significant mental and physical health benefits to the population, as well as not being detrimental to the environment. The start point for active travel is to have a strategy document, called a Local Cycling Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP), generated defining the key corridors that will be most used for cycling and walking. This then forms the outline plan for provision of active travel infrastructure, be it walking, cycling or scooting. This plan is also of great benefit when new housing is being provided, so that developers can be required to provide connectivity to the active travel network (or where it will be when implemented). It also means that once there is a plan, other changes to the transport infrastructure can be coordinated with what the ultimate walking and cycling requirements are, so as to provide for more efficient usage of funds. It can also be used to influence the implementation of a Default 20mph scheme in Whitby (requested in Dec 2022), advising on specific corridors that will be more utilised by people and hence more in need of speed regulation.
At the start of January we posted news that funding had not been obtained from Active Travel England for providing the LCWIP for Whitby area which was clearly disappointing. We are now pleased to announce that we have been informed by Cllr Keane Duncan, Executive Member for Highways and Transportation at NYCC, that they will be funding the development of this using their own funds, in the financial year 2023-2024.
We look forward to the start of this, and working with the new North Yorkshire Council in maximising the benefits of active travel in this area, for all of our residents, as well as for visitors. There is much to do before 2030, and this is only the start, so we are under no illusion as to the amount of work required to realise the potential.