Have your say on improving walking and cycling routes in Wellingborough, Rushden, Higham Ferrers and Raunds

Parking, roads and transport

02 May 2024

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Residents are being encouraged to give their ideas on routes for walking, wheeling and cycling in Wellingborough, Rushden, Higham Ferrers and Raunds to help shape a new Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) which is being developed.

LCWIPs provide a strategic approach to identifying cycling and walking improvements at a local level, enabling a long-term approach to developing networks for the next ten years. They also form a vital part of the government’s strategy to increase the number of trips made on foot or by cycle. 

By creating a good network plan for safe cycling, walking, scooting and wheeling in the area, the council will also be in a stronger position to bid for and win government funding or acquire funding from other sources to implement these changes.
A good network gives local people of all ages and abilities better options on how to travel for everyday journeys such as to work, education, healthcare, shopping, social or leisure activities. It will help reduce carbon emissions, reduce wear on roads and congestion, improve air quality, improve access, boost health and well-being and improve quality of life for everyone.

Following early engagement with the local community and other stakeholders, initial ideas have been developed covering 31 specific routes across the area. 

Working with Brightwayz social enterprise and Pell Frischmann - the council is now seeking the views of local people on these proposals for the routes they know and are interested in. This means the route plans can be tweaked or changed where needed before being included in the final stages of the LCWIP.

People can give their views online but there is also the opportunity for people to have their say in person:

  • Wellingborough – Swansgate Shopping Centre, NN8 1EY – Saturday, May 4 – 10am to 1pm
  • Rushden – Rushden Lakes, NN10 6FH (pink hut by Superdry) – Monday, May 6 – 10am to 1pm
I would encourage as many people as possible to have their say as we really need feedback from local people to help shape what sort of sustainable transport infrastructure would best suit the towns and to help apply for funding.

Active travel, which covers walking and cycling particularly and whether it be for leisure, commuting or appointments, is an essential component of creating a sustainable transport infrastructure in North Northants and vital if we are going to reach carbon neutrality by 2030.
Cllr Matt Binley, the Council’s Executive Member for Highways, Travel and Assets
An active travel network that connects communities is a key priority for the council. By creating safe and accessible infrastructure for walking, cycling, and wheeling, we're not just reducing pollution, we're also empowering residents to embrace healthier lifestyles.  

Regular physical activity is well-documented to improve physical health, but the mental health benefits are equally significant. Spending time outdoors and getting exercise can significantly reduce stress, improve mood, and boost overall well-being.
Jason Smithers, Leader of the Council

This preliminary consultation is to ensure public views can help shape the plan at this relatively early stage with a more formal, final, consultation on proposals scheduled to take place in the Autumn. 

Following this the LCWIP for Wellingborough, Rushden, Higham Ferrers and Raunds would be approved and adopted by the authority.

Residents with queries about the proposals can email [email protected] while they can have their say online.   

This preliminary consultation stage closes at midnight on Friday May 31, 2024.