Cherwell Council are consulting on a draft plans to implement a proposed Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan.
The Plan identifies areas in Banbury and the surrounding areas that will be adapted to increase provision of walking and cycling routes. Although the proposed plans do not directly feature Swalcliffe, they would impact on routes into and around Banbury. The Parish Council have considered the Plan and submitted a response to these, which is shared below for information. Anyone can make there own individual response via the link below. Responses need to be made by 26th February – https://letstalk.oxfordshire.gov.uk/banbury-lcwip
Swalcliffe Parish Council Comments:
- more walking and cycling, all other things being equal, is a good thing for the environment and health – the case presented does not yet add up to anything like an adequately compelling cost-benefit analysis:
- the prospective demand/usage data is opaque and where assumptions are made a bit more explicit they are highly questionable – eg. applying Dutch propensity to cycle data to Banbury; assumed acquisition of electric bikes to cope with the hills. It is not apparent that the topography and demographics of the area have been truly factored in and there is no consumer research on preferences and behaviour.
- no cost-to-implement estimates have been provided; the Council have no idea of these and there seems to be no intention to look at cost in advance of approving the plan as presented, even at this time of particularly constrained resources and competing needs.
- the potential impact of reduced road capacity for motor vehicles, where space is cannibalised for cycle and foot paths, has not been assessed at all in terms of congestion, increased travel times, one way road detours (such as via Broughton Road), and increased pollution at pinch points.
- the bigger picture issue of potential loss to Banbury’s economy and social fabric, should road congestion and extended road journey times deter the population of the significant hinterland around Banbury from participating in the town, is not acknowledged or considered.
- plans entirely disregard the needs of the wider rural communities e.g. Swalcliffe further isolating these communities and especially older, vulnerable and low-income households living within them.