The speed limits on two busy main roads in Newark are set to be cut in a bid to treble the amount of people who cycle to work.
Nottinghamshire County Council has secured £860,000 worth of funding to improve cycling infrastructure in Newark, and the council plans to upgrade the existing cycling routes and provide new routes to create “joined-up coherent cycle networks” throughout the town.
The Newark Cycling Strategy aims to make cycling to work a viable choice for a significant proportion of local residents, greatly improve the cycle infrastructure network by addressing gaps in the network which are a major barrier to accessing large employment and housing sites, and create safe, direct, convenient, attractive and continuous cycle routes.
The speed limit on both Hawton Road and Lincoln Road will be reduced from 40mph to 30mph as part of the plans.
A report by Adrian Smith, corporate director for place at the council, which goes to the communities and place committee on Thursday (May 17), said the proposals will get more people exercising, reduce emissions, improve air quality and reduce traffic congestion.
The report said feedback from consultation events held in September 2017 to promote the Newark Cycling Strategy supported the reduced speed limit as “beneficial to users’ safety”, and said the county council has committed to increasing cycling levels from three percent to 10 percent by 2025.
His report said: “It is considered that the proposals will facilitate the safe operation of the highway for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians, in accordance with the authority’s duty to ensure the safe and expeditious movement of all traffic, including pedestrians.
“The proposals, as part of the wider Newark Cycle Strategy measures will provide a comprehensive, coherent cycle route network in Newark will assist in delivering the Nottinghamshire Cycling Strategy Delivery Plan, which is committed to increasing cycling levels from three percent currently to 10 percent by 2025.
“Increasing levels of sustainable transport use will improve health, cut congestion and emissions and provide greater quality of access to sites of employment and learning.”
However, Councillor Keith Girling has objected to the proposed 30mph limit on Hawton Road.
He said the Hawtonville Safer Neighbourhood Group, of which he is the chairman, has on many occasions carried out a community speed watch event on Hawton Road and at no time has it been shown to be a fast or unsafe road.
Councillor Girling added: “It may have the occasional speeding vehicle but penalising all motorists who use the road sensibly is not the answer and requests that an interactive speed sign be introduced on the road instead.”
The funding for the scheme consists of £610,000 from the D2N2 Local Economic Partnership (LEP) and £250,000 of match funding from the council.
The communities and place committee is recommended to approve the plans to reduce the speed limit on the two roads.