How council chiefs plan to improve the cycle network in Hartlepool

Plans have been laid out for how cycle routes will continue to be improved across Hartlepool.

Friday, 4th October 2019, 3:20 pm
Stock picture from Pixabay
Stock picture from Pixabay

Tony Davison, sustainable travel officer with the council, gave the update on the town’s cycling development plan to the area’s community forum.

Council bosses stressed how the work around the cycling routes and plans has all been externally funded.

Between 2017-2019 the council has received support for six projects, with another one awaiting funding, which have been paid for with £1.35million local growth funding from Tees Valley Combined Authority.

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Mr Davison said the projects provide a boost to the town and improve cycling options.

He said: “Our job is to extend the road safety message for all. The general message is let’s travel together safely.

“As much as we can build new, we’ve got to make better use, and share the use of existing facilities.

“We don’t just get given the money, we’ve got to do a lot of background work, a lot of design work and then it’s analysed and assessed separately and independently.

“The cycling development plan is constantly evolving, there is always space for new ideas, there is space as well to revisit previous projects, it’s a constantly developing document.”

Projects to date carried out include the A689 from Queens Meadow to Truro Drive pathway renovation, and Brenda Road Cycle Lanes.

The access to Oakway has also been improved for cyclists with a Toucan crossing on the A179, while a National Cycle Network route between Greatham and Cowpen Bewley has been developed, offering a traffic free route connecting the borough to other areas nearby.

A project currently being developed is around Bishop Cuthbert, improving the surface and widening the route.

Another potential project in the pipeline Mr Davison said was the development of a cycle way alongside the A689 right the way from the borough border to the town centre.

Concerns were raised about the behaviour of some cyclists not paying attention to their surroundings, but Coun Leisa Smith said the new routes will only make things better.

She said: “Things like those projects will lead to more courteous cyclists who will use the cycle paths in place.

“It’s absolutely fantastic, and I’m over the moon, none of this comes out of council tax money, it’s all external funding. The people of Hartlepool don’t pay for it, but they benefit from it.”

Schemes carried out by the department also include calls for more bikes to have lights and a bikeability programme teaching people how to ride bikes in the public.

They also highlighted Sustrans programme in Hartlepool, which encourages people to cycle safely in the town, and even helps provide bikes.