Following the Arbroath a Place for Everyone consultation, some of the feedback asked us to look at making connecting paths around Arbroath suitable for active travel. And now we’re looking for your views on proposed routes.
It can be difficult to safely walk, cycle or wheel to the places you need to go around Arbroath. Footpaths are not always wide enough for wheelchairs or prams, or they can be uneven and cluttered. Also, people on bikes must share the road with cars which many people find intimidating and off-putting. We want to rebalance the streets so that walking, cycling and wheeling can be just as convenient as driving.
We are at an early stage and are looking to see if it’s practical to develop potential routes and options identified. Some suggestions potentially include (see image):
- Sections of segregated walking and cycling which separates people walking, people on bikes and vehicles, giving each group their own space. Could include using bollards/planters, coloured surfaces to help show where the pavement and cycleway are, and/or grass verge between the cycles and cars, helping to increase the protection of pedestrians and cycles and adding greenery to a street.
- Routes are traffic calmed, quieter roads for safer on-road cycling. This can include 20mph speed limits, build outs and narrower roads.
- Shared use paths for all active travel users, creating a traffic free route for walking, wheeling and cycling.
The consultation for giving feedback closed on 13 April 2022.
See information below for more information about active travel and the benefits, improving design principles and stages of the consultation.
Active travel - Making it easier to walk, cycle and wheel (travel by wheelchair, mobility aid or scooter) can have a lot of benefits for you and your community. Active travel can benefit physical and mental health and wellbeing and has less impact on the environment than making the same journey in a car. Active travel can include walking, cycling (including using e-bikes and handcycles), travelling on a scooter, with the aid of a wheelchair or powered mobility aid.
Improved accessibility - This can include drop kerbs and wider footways. Also, installing tactile paving benefits people with sight loss. Designs can also be made to be autism and dementia friendly by introducing clear signage and benches which would allow people to stop and rest. Improved lighting can help make a route feel safer which, along with other improvements, can make streets safer and healthier for children and young people.
Reduced traffic - More people choosing to walk, wheel or cycle helps reduce vehicle congestion and traffic by removing cars from the road. This improves air quality which can lead to fewer cases of asthma, reduces traffic noise and makes streets safer for children and young people allowing them to make more independent journeys. Reduced traffic could also make bus and car journeys shorter.
Improved economy - Research by Living Streets and Sustrans found that people who walk, wheel and cycle can contribute towards economic growth in the local community, as they are more likely to spend more in local shopping areas as opposed to motorists. It also makes an area more attractive to spend time in and visit, increasing footfall and passing trade for local businesses.
Improving active travel in Arbroath is a response to several national and local strategies and policies including:
Tactran Active Travel Strategy: Improved Walking and Cycling Links within the Region (2015) commits to “Develop walking and cycling links to and within town and city centres and to employment, health facilities, services, leisure and tourism activities.”
In 2018, Tactran, Tayside’s Regional Transport Partnership, published an Active Travel Audit for the Arbroath area. This current piece of work follows on from that audit and builds on its recommendations, ensuring they are still relevant and in line with up-to-date guidance.
We have developed an updated proposed active travel network and begun the process of considering what each route could look like. These are general ideas of what improvements could be made and do not deal with specific details; that will come at a later stage. The suggestions are based on a set of design principles set out by Sustrans Scotland.
1. Develop ideas collaboratively and in partnership with communities.
2. Facilitate independent walking, cycling, and wheeling for everyone, including an unaccompanied 12-year-old.
3. Design places that provide enjoyment, comfort and protection.
4. Ensure access for all and equality of opportunity in public space.
5. Ensure all proposals are developed in a way that is context-specific and evidence-led.
6. Reallocate road space and prioritise people walking, cycling and wheeling over private motor vehicles.
Next steps - different stages of the project
Stage 0 – Strategy
Stage 1 – Feasibility and options – this is where we are currently.
Stage 2 – Concept design
Stage 3 – Develop design
Stage 4 – Technical design
Stage 5 – Construction