South West Chilterns Community Board champions greener travel with new ‘quietway’
A new pilot ‘quietway’ is to be introduced in Trinity Road, Marlow as part of a range of measures to promote walking and cycling in the area.
The government’s national £225m Emergency Active Travel Fund was introduced last year to help local authorities introduce schemes that support people travelling to work, school, for shopping and leisure activities via active travel methods such as walking and cycling. Such initiatives can have multiple long-term benefits including reducing congestion, improving air quality and enhanced public health.
The South West Chilterns Community Board approached the Council about introducing the quietway along Trinity Road for a trial period of six months. A quietway uses special ‘point closures’ to help create a quieter street for everyone, and to encourage cycling and walking, whilst still maintaining vehicle access for local residents and businesses.
Local residents, schools, taxi firms, waste collection teams and others were invited to give their feedback on the proposals before a final decision was made on whether to begin the trial. Over 1,000 letters were also distributed to local residents and businesses who were able to submit their comments.
With the majority of responses supporting the proposed trial, the scheme has been agreed to progress with installation starting in mid-April. Throughout the duration of the trial feedback can be submitted on the council’s website.
Councillor Alex Collingwood, ward councillor for Marlow and Chair of the Transport, Infrastructure, Reopening of High Streets and Regeneration (TIRR) working group on the South West Chilterns Community Board explained: “We have spoken to local groups and organisations and realised there is an appetite for introducing something like this in Marlow. This is intended to be a temporary scheme and there is scope for it to be tweaked as we receive feedback. We are hopeful that residents and all those who use the area will see the positive benefits and support the trial.”
Liz Lorente, of the local community group Transition Town Marlow, said: “We are delighted to see some of the active travel ideas we have advocated being implemented. Trinity Road is an important walking route with only a single, narrow pavement. We believe the potential of introducing the ‘quietway’ will make it a safer and more social space for pedestrians, cyclists and users of mobility scooters.”
Buckinghamshire Council has already co-funded some additional bike racks in Marlow town centre through the Emergency Active Travel Fund (in partnership with Marlow Town Council) and has plans to install further racks in both Bourne End and Wooburn Green.
South West Chilterns Community Board is also looking at plans for longer term, larger projects to encourage more people to travel by foot or bike and to provide green links between local towns and villages.
Councillor Nick Naylor, Cabinet Member for Transport said: “This scheme is one of many across the county where we are looking at increasing the number of cycling and walking routes available to people. Apart from the obvious benefits of helping to reduce congestion in some of our more built up areas, schemes such as this can help improve physical and mental health and improve air quality which feeds into our work on tackling climate change.”
You can find out more about the trial Active Travel scheme in Trinity Road and give feedback on our website at Emergency walking and cycling schemes due to coronavirus | Buckinghamshire Council