Consultation: closes this Friday, please make your voice heard!

Metro are consulting on the Implementation Plan of the West Yorkshire Local Transport Plan.

Bear with me, this is important and the deadline is THIS FRIDAY so please complete the consultation now!

LTP is the 15-year transport plan for West Yorkshire (2011-2026): how West Yorkshire will spend its transport money. LTP is put into practice through 3-year Implementation Plans (IP). IP2, for 2014-2017, is currently undergoing consultation.

You can find the consultation here:

http://www.wyltp.com/consultation

There’s a draft Cycling Prospectus here, as one of the supporting docs:

http://www.wyltp.com/NR/rdonlyres/2893CB39-0036-4292-9E9E-25F02F61AE86/0/IP2DraftWYLTP3CycleProspectus100513.pdf

You can also see comments from consultations on the other supporting documents here:

http://www.wyltp.com/consultation/ConsultationComments.htm

It’s vitally important that the voice of those who want to travel by bicycle is heard in these consultations. It really matters!

 

Some points you might like to make:

The draft cycling prospectus says “To be transformational, it is proposed to provide a level of investment equivalent to £5 per head of West Yorkshire population per year (approximately £11 million) in each of the remaining years of LTP3 and continued into the subsequent LTP4 period to enable the growth of a comprehensive cycle network.”

However, when you look at the table of Programme Areas on the consultation’s front page, the TOTAL for cycling and walking over the three years of the plan (that bit's just been confirmed by Metro) is £2.8m – £5m. Even the maximum of this range, £5m per year, is just 15% of what the cycling prospectus believes is needed to be transformational.

Compare this to £72 - £79m for maintaining highways and other assets – if this maintenance was carried out thoughtfully to help cycling and walking, (narrowing curves on street entrances, putting in cycle lanes, dropped kerbs, etc) this could have a big benefit for sustainable ways to travel.

£11 – 13.2m is allocated to Safer Roads but promoting cycling and walking, and reducing private car use would create safer conditions for everyone.

The “West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund” is allocated 34.3m for transformational projects, but the draft Prospectus for Change http://www.wyltp.com/NR/rdonlyres/2B94C830-7E5A-4702-A1ED-A30753E8DFBB/0...  has hardly any mention of cycling and walking – only as part of “highways improvement” packages. Much of this transformational funding is for road building schemes, justified by theoretical counts of “jobs created”. There is no focus on making cycling safe and convenient, which could provide much more durable and sustainable benefits for the economy, individual health and wellbeing, and community cohesion.

Research shows that building new roads leads to more vehicles using the road network http://www.bettertransport.org.uk/media/June09-road-congestion-grows-research-findings . Road building is not a solution to congestion.

As a result of ongoing investment of £10 million per year, 46% of all journeys in Amsterdam are made by bike. We need to start making Leeds better for cycling and walking. We are 30 years behind, and falling further behind every year while we spend a pittance on truly sustainable transport.

On the A660 – the route with the highest demand for cycling – 70% of private car journeys are from locations within the outer ring road. Many of these could be carried out by bicycle instead, but there’s no ambitious plan to raise levels of cycling on this corridor.

 

Leeds desperately needs serious investment and transformational change for cycling.

(for references, see our NGT briefing http://www.leedscyclingcampaign.co.uk/?q=node/95 ):

Increasing cycling and walking decreases wear and tear on the roads.

For every £1 pound spent on cycling initiatives, £4 is saved in costs to the NHS and value to the economy.

Among Leeds’ competitors, the “core cities”, only Birmingham has a smaller proportion of people cycling to work than Leeds.

London has made substantial investments in cycling in because it is much more cost effective than the alternative of expanding public transport capacity.

Recent guidance from National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends local authorities consider cycling and walking a key part of their new duty on public health.

Cycling improves community cohesion and benefits local businesses.

The major barrier to cycling in Leeds is concern over traffic speed and volume. While road planning in Leeds prioritises “smooth traffic flow”, cycling on major routes – the routes most people are familiar with - will never be perceived as safe.

Leeds relies on the Core Cycle Network but many cyclists trying to use the routes report that they are convoluted, difficult to follow, and in some places actively dangerous.

For £40 million, Portland in Oregon built 300 miles of high quality cycle infrastructure, which increased modal share of bicycle journeys to 8%. The payback on Portland's investment, purely in terms of reduced health costs, is estimated to be 6.5 to 1.

Comments

The public comments on the WY-LTP2 consultation are now available:
http://www.wyltp.com/consultation

and the good news is, there were LOADS of comments about walking and cycling as priorities. Thanks to everyone who submitted comments and filled in the consultation. For an idea of just how the tide seems to be turning, check out the graph of funding priorities on page two of "Overview of the IP2 programme": cycling and walking took first place!