A new £500m plan which aims to ensure that over half of all short journeys in the northeast will be walked, wheeled or cycled by 2035 is at the proposal stage, and Blyth Town Council is asking residents to add their suggestions to the proposal.
Active travel means making journeys in physically active ways that burn energy, such as cycling, walking and wheeling. Widely accepted as an inexpensive and accessible form of transport, encouraging and enabling more active travel is a key way of improving the health and well-being of local people.
The proposal is good news for the environment, public health and the local economy, and the active strategy proposal would bring a package of investments to the region’s walking, wheeling and cycling network totalling £500m.
Schemes included in the consultation draft of the strategy include a brand new cycle network, regional e-bike hire schemes and improving the pedestrian experience in towns and cities. It would also utilise Social prescribing, where NHS providers prescribe more active travel to boost public health.
Mayor of Blyth Town Council, Councillor Warren Taylor, is a keen cyclist himself and regularly uses his bike to cycle from his home to the council offices. Whenever practical, he also walks to meetings and events within the town. He has also seen the health and economic benefits too.“
“Although this is a region-wide scheme, I’d urge Byth residents to have their say. Blyth will soon have a new rail network, but that connection still needs to be accessible for people living in other parts of the town. We already have a good cycle network, but it can be improved, and we need your ideas,” he said. “We’ve pedestrianised some of our town centre streets, but we’d like to know if other schemes are possible to help people walk rather than use the car.”
“There are so many benefits on using “people power” to get from A to B, like reducing carbon emissions, making people healthier and improving air quality and noise levels. Add to this the savings in fuel, and it all adds up to a strategy that can only benefit the area and Blyth.
“This also fits in nicely with the Energising Blyth Initiative, where we are working with our Northumberland Country Council colleagues to progress schemes which will offer a number of projects to improve connectivity across Blyth.’
The consultation closes on 5 March 2023, and comments can be made at https://www.transportnortheast.gov.uk/neactivetravel