Our current campaigns are focused on… Cycle Paths,Walkways and Wildlife Corridors
This is the start of a campaign by Transition Swindon, Wootton Bassett environment group and Swindon Cycle Campaign to get walkways and cycle paths updated and created in Swindon to fall in line with social distancing. Also an opportunity to improve wildlife corridors along these paths.
We have sent the following email to all SBC councillors:
The Government have announced 1.2 billion in national walking and cycle routes which gives the council the opportunity to improve the cycle paths and walkways around Swindon.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:
“During this crisis, millions of people have discovered cycling – whether for exercise or as a means of safe, socially-distanced transport. While there is no change to the ‘stay at home’ message today, when the country does get back to work we need those people to stay on their bikes and be joined by many more. Otherwise, with public transport’s capacity severely restricted at this time, our trains and buses could become overcrowded and our roads gridlocked – holding up emergency services, critical workers and vital supplies. We know cars will continue to remain vital for many, but as we look to the future we must build a better country with greener travel habits, cleaner air and healthier communities.“
Transition Swindon, Royal Wootton Bassett Environment Group and Swindon Cycle Campaign would like to encourage council to apply for this funding to create new cycle and walkways across Swindon whilst also better joining up those that already exist.
These could also be used as corridors and bridges to help our beleaguered wildlife to increase the genetic diversity and therefore their ability to withstand viruses that may affect them. It would also increase our contribution to Bug Life’s B Line network across the country.
This topic has been discussed on The Birds and the Bees (https://www.facebook.com/thebirdsandthebees1055/) radioshow which was broadcast last Friday 5th June repeated this morning on Swindon 105.5. It can also be heard here as a podcast.
Other councils have already coned off roadways so that social distancing can more easily be achieved, including Wiltshire Council whose outline is attached. This will need to be done in Swindon as we come out of lockdown and must, eventually, be made permanent.
Grant Shapps, in his guidance issued on the 9th May (updated 23rd May – link below) stated: ‘Measures should be taken as swiftly as possible, and in any event within weeks, given the urgent need to change travel habits before the restart takes full effect.’
Now is ‘within weeks’ and so we would like to see some changes put in place urgently.
There is also much call for this in the general population as reported in a recent poll showing more people concerned about climate change, and all that entails, than pandemics!
Transition Swindon also carried out an exercise whereby people were asked to write down what they would like to see by 2030 in Swindon. The comments are attached.
We would like confirmation that SBC will introduce the first set of temporary measures by the end of June.
Thanks and take care
Glynis Hales https://transitionswindon.org/
Dave Knight https://www.ecorwb.org/cycle-group
Dick Millard https://swindoncyclecampaign.org
If you would like to support this campaign please write to your councillor at SBC. The more emails they get the more likely that action will happen.