Pedals supports these proposals, particularly as they will help to improve the extent of the local cycle network and, most especially, because they will help provide a very important new link in the development of a continuous route for cyclists away from the tram tracks in the very constrained Chilwell Road / High Road area.
We are very pleased to see that these needs are explicitly recognised in several sections of the Travel Plan accompanying the application, e.g. sections 2.2 (Context) on page 5, 2.3 (Overview of potential changes in movement) on page 6, 5.8 (Accident records) on page 25, and in the proposals for cycle routes (6.4 on page 29).
We are also glad to see the recognition in section 5.4 (Cycling) on p17 that “limited cycle facilities have been implemented along High Road / Chilwell Road in the vicinity of the site (see figure 5.4.2)” and especially the following comment in the last para on this page “However, these facilities are relatively disjointed and offer limited benefit for cyclists.” Pedals very much agrees with this view.
It is therefore very important that the major contribution offered by this development, in terms of improving east-west connectivity for cyclists in particular, is followed up by other efforts including a future more direct link east of this development to and from Barrydale Avenue, West End etc., and the rest of the relatively quiet and safe back street route for cyclists which now exists, connecting to the rather better cycling provision on Middle Street etc.
Further links of this kind, designed and built to high quality standards, with clear and coherent signing, and well-maintained, will reinforce the contribution of this development to promoting the use of bikes for local trips in particular. In doing this they will assist with the increasingly vital role of cycling and other active travel not just in terms of promoting physical health but also in terms of the steadily increasing importance of helping to reduce the very serious levels of air pollution from traffic in major urban areas such as Greater Nottingham with their very serious public health consequences, as several recent reports have emphasised.