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  • "
    CJH wrote:
    chrism wrote:
    Where's the money for proper cycling infrastucture then? They could spend a fraction of the amount on that and make far more difference to congestion than all those road improvements will. Transport planning in this country appears to still be stuck in a 60s mindset when it's clear we need to stop basing everything so much on the car.
    Building more cycle lanes etc will not make people use bikes if they don't want to. We have an increasing elderly population who may not be able to, or want to, cycle. People now work further away from home than they used to, so journeys are longer. In the 1960s many people still did not own a car, and even if they did probably not more than one in a family, so it's difficult to see how we are still stuck in that 'mindset'. I cannot see how your statement that it will make far more difference to congestion is valid. Cars are not going away any time soon. Even the most committed cyclists usually have cars as well.
    Building more cycle lanes might not. But I'm not suggesting slapping a bit of pink paint on the roads, I'm suggesting building proper cycling infrastructure like they have in Holland - it has been proven that such infrastructure does result in more people cycling. It's a no brainer really - if it's more convenient, safe and easy to cycle than sit in traffic jam in a car then people will do it - that's what has happened in Holland. The reason people won't cycle in this country is that the cycle facilities don't make it more convenient, safer (or more importantly they don't provide the perception of being safer) or easier as they are so rubbish. What has happened in Holland, where they have reduced congestion by increasing the numbers of people cycling through infrastructure validates my statement - their cost benefit analysis shows that the cost of cycling infrastructure is paid back in a few years through a variety of benefits to society, not least of which is reducing the amount wasted in traffic jams.

    The elderly population thing is a complete red herring - in general it's not retired people creating the congestion, and what's more plenty of retired people do cycle in Holland, so age clearly doesn't prevent people from cycling. In any case the idea isn't for everybody to cycle - clearly some will still need to drive and others will choose to drive, but every one person riding a bike is one car less on the road which has to help the motorists even more than the cyclists. Meanwhile even if some people do travel long distances to work, plenty of the cars on the road are only travelling short distances which would be suitable for cycling - again it's not about getting all the cars off the road, just reducing our reliance on them.

    Because you are right - as a committed cyclist I own a car and use it regularly. I don't want to ban cars - I am just as frustrated by the local congestion as the rest of you. When I can I try and avoid contributing to it by cycling instead of driving though - owning a car does not mean you have to use it. However I am clearly in a minority - and I can understand why - you have to be brave to use a cycle with our current infrastructure.

    Oh and my comment about the 60s refers to the planning system - and I'm afraid once again to Holland. Back then they were busy knocking down buildings and building lots of new roads to accommodate cars which were seen as the future - just as we were. The difference is that they had a moment of enlightenment and stopped that, resulting in a better transport environment for all. There is nothing special about them apart from that they took the decision to do something radically different with their transport infrastructure - a choice we could also make here if we wanted to."
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Revealed: £266m transport revamp for Worcestershire

Revealed: £266m transport revamp for Worcestershire

Worcester congestion: plan to tackle it

Worcester congestion: plan to tackle it

First published in News Evesham Journal: Tom Edwards Exclusive by , Political Reporter

A £266 million plan to revamp roads and other forms of transport across Worcestershire can today be revealed - in a bid to finally solve the county's congestion headaches.

Business and council leaders have teamed together to draw up a blueprint of 19 major infrastructure revamps aimed for completion by 2021.

It includes bids of £173 million from central Government, and if accepted the likes of Worcestershire County Council and the Highways Agency will put the remaining £93 million into the kitty themselves.

It includes:

- £6 million towards street resurfacing in key shopping centres like Worcester, Malvern and Evesham to increase their appeal

- £17 million to finally build Worcestershire Parkway, a long-awaited railway station planned for Norton

- £56 million on reconfiguring the M5 Junction 6 to ease traffic build-up at peak times and prevent queues stretching back to the A449 in particular

- £4.8 million on building the Pershore Northern Link, including a bridge over the railway line in order to improve access between the A44 and the Keytec Business Park, and changes to Pinvin cross roads

- £11 million to widen roads and reconfigure key junctions to sites where large housing plots are expected to be built, including Newlands in Malvern, the west Worcester urban extension next to Dines Green and the Copcut in Droitwich

- £5 million to create special access to Worcester Technology Park off Junction 6 of the M5, and £1.75 million for better Malvern Hills Science Park access

- £2 million on a new pedestrian river crossing going from Worcester's Gheluvelt Park to old Kepax Country Park site behind Hallow Road, aimed at opening up more of the city to pedestrians and encouraging walking

- £10 million specifically towards road improvements around Evesham, which are expected to focus on the A46

- £5 million on flooding alleviation, which is expected to focus on New Road in Worcester and Upton-upon-Severn

Other projects include £24 million on improving the A38 in Bromsgrove, £5 million to improve Kidderminster railway station and the landscape around Comberton Hill, and £12.8 million on the Hoo Brook Link Road, also in Kidderminster.

It also includes funds towards the planned dualling of the A4440 Southern Link Road in Worcester, including £63 million on Carrington Bridge, as your Worcester News first revealed last week.

The entire package has been put together by Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which is competing for Government handouts worth £2 billion every year between next April and 2020.

As your Worcester News revealed last week the plan, put together with input from all Worcestershire's councils, MPs and more than 150 organisations, totals bids worth £250 million, making transport more than half the total ask.

Peter Pawsey, LEP chairman, said: "This is the first step to securing major changes for the better to Worcestershire's physical infrastructure."

Councillor Simon Geraghty, county council deputy leader, said: "These aren't minor proposals, this is a real step-change for Worcestershire's future transport needs."

A first announcement by the Government on next year's successful bidders is due in July.

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