Council reveals aim to double opportunities to cycle by 2030

Aim to make cycling in the district easier, safer and more connected.

Braintree District council has unveiled its vision to encourage more people to cycle more often as part of its commitment to tackling climate change. 

A draft cycling strategy will be discussed at an Extraordinary Meeting of Full Council tonight (Monday 15th March 2021). The strategy sets out how the council will encourage more people to take up cycling and help improve the cycle network in both urban and rural areas.    

The council aims to:   

  • Double the number of cycling trips in Braintree District from 2021 levels by 2030.   
  • Encourage residents to see cycling as a normal, enjoyable and everyday activity for the majority of short journeys.  
  • Develop a safer and more comprehensible cycle network for cyclists to give greater assurance, particularly for less experienced cyclists.  
  • Make cycling more inclusive and open to a wider demographic.   

Cllr Frankie Ricci, Cabinet Member for Communities, Culture and Tourism at Braintree District Council, said: “Cycling is one of the greenest modes of transport and has always been an important part of our district. We have experienced, commuter and leisure cyclists who enjoy all that the district can offer but for too long it has been easier to jump in the car rather than jump on a bike.    

“With our partners, we want to make the Braintree District a leading light in cycling provision, making it safer and more attractive for a more people to cycle more frequently.   

“Making it easier to cycle will help us all with our over reliance on petrol and diesel vehicles and road congestion which create air and noise pollution. Once we are able to improve the cycling network across our district working with partners such as Essex County Council, we would love to promote the district as a destination for all cyclists looking to access attractive places to cycle and this will also support our tourist sector after what has been a difficult year with the pandemic.”   

The unveiling of the council’s vision for cycling follows the climate change declaration by the Council in 2019 and its promise to do all it can to make its activities, as far as possible, carbon neutral by 2030.    

A cycling steering group made up of representatives from local government, the voluntary sector, business and community cycling interest groups has been integral to the development of the draft strategy. This evening councillors will review the draft cycling strategy and will be asked to agree to plans to take the strategy out to community engagement starting after the elections in May 2021.    

The cycling strategy is written with a number of local and national cycling strategies in mind and looks at how the council can help more people cycle to school, work and for leisure.    

The strategy can be read here and it will be complemented with a delivery plan each year which will set out how the council and its partners will implement its cycling vision.   

Find out more about the council's draft climate change strategy here

The draft strategy can be read within the Full Council papers here.

Watch Full Council here:

Published: 15th March 2021