Shropshire Star

New walking and cycling routes plan set to transform Shropshire towns

Plans for new walking and cycling routes to transform Shropshire's biggest towns could be approved at a Cabinet meeting today.

A woman rides a bike in a cycle lane

It comes as part of Shropshire Council's 10-year plan for delivering new or improved infrastructure, with the aim of getting more people active.

Individual draft plans have been drawn up for seven towns in the Shropshire Council area – Shrewsbury, Oswestry, Bridgnorth, Market Drayton, Church Stretton, Ludlow and Whitchurch.

The plans include the outline of more than a hundred routes to be improved or put in place, with a raft of measures outlined to make them attractive, safe and usable for cyclists.

They include the installation of new crossings and bridges.

A paper set to be approved by Shropshire Council's cabinet outlines ambitions to make walking and cycling "more attractive", "safe and comfortable", in order to get more people using bikes instead of cars.

It would also contribute to reducing energy and fuel consumption, as well as reducing emissions, to align with the Shropshire Climate Change Strategy.

The draft plans considers an entire network of walking and cycling routes across the county, with measures including introducing segregated cycle lanes and walking routes; new walking bridges; new parking; creating new crossings and widening existing paths.

Improvements to existing walkways and cycle routes have also been considered. In Oswestry this could see a reduced speed limit to 20mph in some places, as well as the improvements to road signage.

Some of the barriers to improving cycle and walking routes that have been identified include potential conflicts over road space, as well as the historic layout of many of the market towns.

The delivery of the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIP) would be subject to the council's ability to secure Government funding.

If the plan is approved at the meeting today, a six-week public consultation will be held in the spring.

Shropshire Councillor Ian Nellins, cabinet member for climate change, environment and transport previously said: “We really will need people to share their views and tell us what they think about our draft LCWIP.

"Public feedback, particularly about the proposed routes and interventions for each area, will help ensure the network accurately responds to demand from local communities.”