Agenda item

Presentation on Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan

Minutes:

 Adrian Hooper, Project Manager at Sustrans, and students at Charles Dickens, St George’s Primary and Secondary School gave the presentation on local cycling and walking infrastructure plan, making the following key points:

 

·  St Peters was recognised as one of seven core walking zones in Thanet District Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan.

·  Key characteristics of St Peters were: busy roads and lots of schools.

·  Policy context was given regarding the local cycling and walking infrastructure plan noting that the Council had announced the Climate Emergency in July 2019, and the council’s pledge to support making Thanet District net zero by 2050. KCC policies were also mentioned such as the Active Travel Strategy, Framing Kent’s Future and the Energy and Low Emissions Strategy, all of which support active travel.

·  The objectives of the St Peter’s Walking Zone project included the following: encourage students to walk and cycle to school, make it safer to walk and cycle, reduce the amount and speed of traffic, enhance street greening and improve air quality, create cleaner, safer and happier environment for school students and mitigate the impact of climate change.

·  All of the schools involved in the project undertook a student walkabout, which consisted of a  guided walk to think and talk about the local environment.

·  Co-discover exercises were also carried out with the school's children. During these sessions, the children mapped key issues and locations for improvements. Improvements included: More bins, more pedestrian crossings, more green areas, trees and flowers, slower speed limits and wider footpaths.

 

 

Councillors commented and asked the following questions:

 

·  Thanks were given to the students of all three schools, and to Sustrans for the work on the project.

·  Issues with lighting standards were noted on several roads. It was noted that the Council should approach Kent County Council with a view of increasing street lighting in these areas.

·  More crossings near schools were needed.

·  Bins were in the way during school drop off and pick up times. It was recommended to Cabinet by Councillors of the Local Plan CAG and Climate Change CAG that bins should be pushed off from the pavements up to the pathway onto individual houses where possible. This not only helped students at drop off and pick up times, but also disabled residents and residents with prams.

·  A further recommendation on cleaning alleyways in the area of these schools was put by Councillors. This would be dependent on the ownership of the alleyways, and would be looked into further.

·  There were recommendations of a speedwatch day with the school and council collaborating together on this.

 

Officers responded to Councillors questions:

 

 

·  The importance of bins were noted, teachers from the schools noted this, and would look into increasing the bins at the entrances of schools. However, it was noted that the issue was notably on the journeys to school, and the lack of bins that these routes had.

·  Alleyways in St Peters were considered key areas for footfall from schools within the area. It was important to keep these alleyways clean and safe for residents.

·  A speedwatch day was considered a good idea and would be looked into further.