Shropshire Star

Shrewsbury bid for 'mini-Holland' active travel funding lodged

A bid to transform a town's walking and cycling infrastructure to make it a 'mini-Holland' has taken another step after an official 'expression of interest' was lodged.


Shrewsbury could be in line for Government funding to give its roads and walkways a major upgrade after the town council, Shropshire Council and Shrewsbury Bid teamed up to submit forms to the Department for Transport.

The money would be for infrastructure changes to prioritise walking and cycling for short journeys within the town.

The focus of the Mini-Holland Programme will be on developing a comprehensive network of key walking and cycling corridors and introducing low-traffic schemes to the residential areas between these routes.

Shropshire Council initially resisted calls from Shrewsbury councillors to bid for the funding, but made a U-turn after Shrewsbury Town Council and Shrewsbury Bid agreed to pay for the consultants.

Councillor Alan Mosley, leader of Shrewsbury Town Council, said: “Our mini-Holland bid has been developed by the Shrewsbury Big Town Plan Partnership which, over the last four years, has worked with the community and stakeholders to develop a collective and ambitious vision for Shrewsbury.

“There is a huge appetite for this innovative project from residents who want to move from being car-dependant to a more meaningful engagement with their town. Businesses can also see the benefits for their customers being able to move around the town more freely.

“A Shrewsbury mini-Holland project would be a huge step forward delivering on our objective of transforming movement to create a more connected, prosperous and healthy town.

“I firmly believe that we need to be very bold about active travel, particularly if we are to meet our climate emergency commitments. We owe it to future generations to radically change our culture and habits.”

Amanda Spencer, deputy town clerk, believes having the Shrewsbury Big Town Plan Partnership in place already helps the town in preparation for the funding bid.

She added: “The key to Shrewsbury being able to create a successful mini-Holland is due to the collaborative partnerships which already exist throughout the town. Our focus now needs to be on developing a comprehensive network of key walking and cycling corridors and introducing low-traffic schemes to residential areas.

“We are working with developers to introduce better networks to link residential areas with key hubs like the town centre, colleges and the hospital. With improvements to infrastructure to make it more safe and convenient, we hope that people will be encouraged to use active travel measures for short journeys as the accepted form of moving around the town.

“With a vision to develop radical ways to address traffic congestion and the associated climate impacts, we feel that residents would benefit greatly from introducing a mini-Holland scheme to Shrewsbury.”