Moves to improve safe and active travel opportunities highlighted

The Council's ongoing commitment to improve opportunities for cycling, walking and active travel by local residents of all ages is highlighted in reports to the next Environment and Infrastructure Committee on Wednesday 23 May 2018.

Details of projects that have been supported with Scottish Government Cycling, Walking and Safer Streets (CWSS) funding in 2017/2018, along with proposals for the current and next financial years, are set out for the Committee to consider in the first report.

£187,000 of works around Perth and Kinross were funded in 2017/2018. This included provision of shared use paths for cycling and walking, improvements to assist pedestrians with visual impairment and mobility issues, as well as a number of new sections of footpath to enhance rural safety.

For 2018/2019, the Committee will be asked to agree a list of projects to be carried out. This includes provision of cycle lockers at a number of bus stops in the Carse of Gowrie, widening of footpath sections in Perth and Blairgowrie, as well as further pedestrian improvements in city and town centres. Potential projects for 2019/2020 cover extensions to and widening of existing footpaths and pavement build-outs to assist school pupils and pedestrians. Councillors will hear that match funding is also being sought from Sustrans for some of the projects.

The second report details revised assessment criteria against which requests for rural footways would be considered, if approved by the Committee. The updated criteria take into account a range of key points, such as collision and casualty data, connections to housing, links to schools and community facilities, the potential for shared-use paths, whether there are alternative safe routes nearby, and land availability.

Environment and Infrastructure Convener, Councillor Angus Forbes said: "The projects we have taken forward, and those we are looking at for this year and next all aim to make a difference in our communities. The key areas of focus are to: improve our infrastructure and transport links; benefit residents' health and wellbeing by increasing options for cycling and walking, and make journeys to and from school and community facilities safer. We want to make the most effective use we can of our available funding. As a result, the revised criteria for new rural footways is intended to focus on delivering best value - the maximum benefit we can achieve for communities through these types of works."