We've been invited to take part in the Great Big Green Week 18 – 26 September 2021 to highlight active travel. Are we up for that? Ideas for what to do?
Who would we nominate as Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Cycling Commissioner? And who wants to get involved in their active travel forum for us?
Shipdham, Chapel Street Zebra Pedestrian Crossing Notice 2021 : PR3891 - DPS 71588 — no objection but would query location? It looks like it would be far more useful sited west of both proposed accesses, nearer the Green and Post Office.
Watton, A1075 Thetford Road : Proposed 30mph Speed Limit Order - PR2212 (Vf 64506) — no objection but comment that the proposed roundabout shown does not appear to obey Local Transport Note 1/20 Cycle Infrastructure Design?
21/01235/F Variation of Conditions: 14 flats. 33 - 39 Tower Street, King's Lynn. This attempts to downgrade the cycle store to open racks with a cover, which is obviously unsuitable for consistent long-term cycle storage at a town centre residential property. It says such a store is used at the Railway Station, but that is parking not storage, the station is not residential and it has monitored CCTV. Object on the ground that it does not comply with the Parking Standards for Norfolk and cc the objection to the police?
F/YR21/0855/F - 25 x dwellings (2-storey 3-bed). 7 Wisbech Road, March. New dead end of mostly semi-detached properties. Road design looks OK but not all houses have garages or sheds so is the lack of cycle storage grounds for an objection in Fenland District? Every house has 2 or 3 car spaces, too, which seems odd for a pretty central town location.
H05-0835-21 - 10 dwellings. Fleet Road, Fleet Hargate. New dead end of detached properties. Entrance corners look wide to me, plus no garages or shed bases shown, so nowhere obvious to store cycles securely. Is that grounds for an objection in South Holland?
3PL/2021/1078/F - 8 holiday lodges. Green Lane, Beetley. Despite the description, access is from the busy and pavementless Holt Road. The "Design and Access Statement" is one page turned into a book which doesn't even mention non-motorised access or sustanable tourism. No cycle parking or storage is provided as far as I can tell. Can we object and say that parking, storage and a walking/cycling access to Green Lane inside the 30mph limit zone should be provided?
Updates on Past Consultations
There have been two planning decisions that look thoroughly illogical and bizarre to me:
20/01957/FM 78 dwellings N of Salters Road King's Lynn. Objected in May 2021. There was a minor concession in removal of steps to the northeastern bridge, but I sustained the objection due to the old footbridge being substandard width and not on the desire line to the northwest. Spoke at planning committee. Overruled for reasons TBC. Also, it turns out that the developer (the borough council) does not own the northeastern bridge, so I don't understand how this development can be said to include "provision of a link to the existing cycleway network in the vicinity of the site" because it stops at the south side of the footbridge. Has the borough council just given preferential treatment to its own application by ignoring part of its own planning policy?
20/01685/FM - Freebridge Farm Highways depot. Objected in May 2021. Overruled because "a pedestrian / cycle link already has to be provided to the north of the site connecting the wider estate to Clenchwarton Road to the east. This is required to be provided prior to commencement of development of the second ‘drive-thru’ permitted under the hybrid application. There is therefore no requirement for Highways England to provide such a facility. Notwithstanding this, even without such a provision already being conditioned under a separate application, it would not be reasonable nor necessary for a development such as this to provide such a connection and it is correct that such provision is sought for a hospitality use. Neither Highway England (in relation to the impact of the development on the A47 Trunk Road) nor the Local Highway Authority (in relation to highway safety) raise objections to the proposed development."
Please let me dissect that a bit, in reverse order:
- Of course Highways England haven't objected, because it's their own application. Of course the Local Highway Authority haven't objected because they have allowed the current ludicrously dangerous of cyclists departing this site being legally directed to ride 360° around a dual carriageway roundabout to occur in the first place. If they can overrule us simply by not having objections from the bodies who allowed this awful situation to develop, it's going to be very difficult to ever get current standards built in West Norfolk because the councils have allowed all sorts of crap to be built in the past.
- It "would not be reasonable nor necessary" for a significant employment site to provide a cycling/walking connection! Does this mean the borough planning policies on transport and air quality, the county planning policies about "Travel Choice" and "Casualty Reduction" and the national planning policy framework parts on active travel and more somehow do not apply in West Norfolk?
- The link to Clenchwarton Road "is required to be provided prior to commencement of development of the second ‘drive-thru’". Would anyone like to bet when that will be? In the original planning permission (18/01533/OM), that link was required before any building works started, yet the borough council has allowed part of the development to be built and start trading without it! Is that requirement real?
Finally, on a more positive note, the UK government published an encouraging repeat of its great "Gear Change" policy from last year and reminded local councils that they were serious when they said that they would cut general transport budgets of councils who fail at cycling and walking, not only refuse them cycling and walking funding. While "mostly Norwich so far" Norfolk and even "limited ambitions" Lincolnshire got their next round of funding, Cambridgeshire's was put on hold until they promise to behave, probably about not ripping out cycleways like Peterborough have done. Painful, but it's probably good in the long run to make councils take cycling and walking seriously. There's a great summary of the national announcement from our friends in Norwich at Another Gear Change – Another Year On