Agenda item

Walking and Cycling Strategy

To receive a presentation on the Walking and Cycling Strategy.



Neil Matthews, Assistant Director: Highways and Transport, attended the

meeting to give a presentation on the Council’s presentation Walking and Cycling Strategy.


Arising from the presentation, the following points were noted:


  • There were 530km of footway and over 100km of traffic free cycle way in the Borough. With much of that was in urban areas, specifically in the Town Centre which was planned when Bracknell was a new town such as the underpasses which would be hard to retrofit.
  • The National Cycle Network 422 ran across the Borough and linked Bracknell to West Berkshire, Reading, Wokingham and Ascot.
  • There were over 100 controlled crossings for pedestrians and cyclists with a number of schemes being developed each year.
  • 3000 school children had received cycle training in the past 5 years, under the bike ability scheme, this was funded by the Government and offered to all year 6 pupils.
  • Over the past 10 years annual monitoring surveys suggested that there was an increase in cycling of 9% and an increase in walking of 59%. This was a snapshot of the Borough.
  • The Government introduced the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy which was to show how investment and improvement would be made in cycling and walking over the future years. This strategy was to be undertaken by Local Governments via Local Transport Plans and Walking and Cycling Strategies to deliver a Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure plan.
  • A key aspiration was that the majority of short trips would be undertaken by foot or bike.
  • Active Travel England was introduced to govern the funding that it was going to provide.
  • Policy TP8 in Bracknell Forest Councils Local Transport Plane detailed what the Council had committed to undertake for cycling and walking within the Borough.
  • The capital programme delivered a number of schemes across the Borough.
  • Increased connectivity had been made through strategic transport improvements to the A329/A3095/A322 so that motor transport didn’t become dominate in those schemes.
  • It was key to build on the strong urban network.
  • Walking and cycling connectivity were a key consideration for new development proposals, especially larger sites. It was important that they were high quality and direct links.
  • Developer funding contributions could be taken to support wider off site improvements.
  • There were obligations on developers to create travel plans which sought to promote sustainable travel.
  • Green infrastructure was also important, with Swinley Forest being a good example of this.
  • Developers were realising the importance of green infrastructure as part of new developments as it made them attractive to residents.
  • Pedestrian road safety was rolled out to key stage 1 and 2 pupils.
  • The team analysed any traffic accident data provided by the police and looked to tackle any road safety issues.
  • Secure cycling parking was key as locations.
  • There were 6 different funding schemes that came into the council that could be used for cycling and walking which could be used for the plan, emerging demands, safety improvements and development opportunities.
  • LCWIP was a Government initiative to identify evidence based, high quality cycling and walking improvements at a local level. It used gap analyses and assessments of likely use and benefit.
  • The Council’s current Cycling and Walking plan only covered urban areas and was currently being reviewed to cover the whole borough.
  • Engagement on the new plan had started with residents and Town and Parish Councils.
  • An online platform had been introduced which allowed residents to pinpoint any issues in the Borough. So far there had been 2653 contributions from 525 respondents.
  • The comments were wide raging from general maintenance to suggestions regarding new infrastructure. These responses were being analysed and alongside an engineering assessment would inform the new LCWIP. It was hoped this would tigger new funding from the Government but would also assist in aligning the councils funding.
  • The current infrastructure was underused in many places.
  • There were a range of promotional videos available on the Council’s website.
  • A number of circular walking and cycling routes had been designed across the Borough were promoted on the Council’s website. These were colour coded with the corresponding stickers on lampposts on the routes to be followed.
  • Eco Rewards was an initiative for children to walk and cycle to school. With miles equalling prizes and discounts. Love to Cycle was a similar scheme. With both being very popular with schools signing up to be involved.
  • My Journey had recently been set up which was a personalised travel journey portal. It had gone live but was still being refined. Start and finish points of journeys could be entered and the different modes of how to make that journey were presented to the user. It was hoped that the Council’s infrastructure could be mapped into the portal – this was still being refined.


Arising from the presentation the following points were raised:


  • The strategy was easy to read for residents and members.
  • It had been commented that it was hard to find cycle lanes in Bracknell, however it would be hard to colour code all the routes.
  • All routes were available on the Councils website.
  • Reading had closed roads around schools to promote more cycling. This was something that had been undertaken in large cities. The Boroughs schools were well connected in a majority of cases. There was less connectivity to the rural schools.
  • This was not something that could be discounted but would need to be looked at closely on a case-by-case basis.
  • There was not a target or governmental target to get more people on bikes. This was not something that could be measured easily, nor for walking.
  • There was a shift on how the capital programme be spent towards sustainable travel.
  • How travel data would be collected in the future was something that was being looked at by the Government. Travel data for cars was collected by Bluetooth, it was expected that travel data for cycling and walking could be done the same way as the majority of people had a phone on them which could track anonymised journeys.
  • Cycling clubs could be promoted. Love to Ride was a form of this and you could club together with other people.
  • Cycling and walking in the winter months was always a challenge.
  • There were challenges with cycling in the rural areas where the roads were narrower, and people were often more wary of cycling. More broader thinking was required for these areas.
  • Walking in the Borough was a pleasant experience.
  • Working with the Parish and Town Councils was key to make use of opportunities.
  • Lots of promotion of My Journey was underway, with aspirations that this also be available via app.
  • Safe storage for expensive bikes was key for those who cycled leisurely to also cycle to shops or to commute.
  • There were 350 cycle hoops in Bracknell Town Centre. These were securely attached to the ground and had CCTV.
  • The train station had bike racks to save space.
  • The bike storage in the Borough was not overused.
  • Neil would look at the cycling crime data in the borough and see if there was an issue with leaving bikes, or whether this was just a perception.
  • Roundabouts were difficult for a car, cycle and pedestrian mix, it was important to find a safe solution where users didn’t meet together.
  • The mindset of road users in Europe was different than in the UK which was someway behind.
  • Bracknell Town Centre was a pedestrian zone, with cycling not permitted. There was signage throughout and work had been undertaken with the Lexicon to try and combat those that did cycle through; however the Lexicon staff didn’t have powers to enforce unlike the police.
  • There were compromised that could be used in the rural areas for lit pathways.


The Chair thanked Officers and Members for their presentations and contributions.