LCWIP: The next steps on walking and cycling plans for Ludlow

We have been having a very lively debate about the proposals from City Science and Shropshire Council for walking and cycling in Ludlow (LCWIP). I’ve been publicising them over the last couple of weeks on my blog and on social media. The reaction has been huge with several hundred comments.

Not all the comments have been friendly in tone. Please don’t shoot the messenger. Please don’t assume I support the council’s position. I don’t. People in Ludlow are more informed about the proposals than any other town in the county because I have devoted a lot of time to seeking your views.

Shropshire Council’s consultation runs until 16 June. There will be two online seminars at 6pm on 18 and 25 May. These will cover all seven towns in the LCWIP study. I’ll publish details when I have them. You can also make comments online: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/LCWIP-Ludlow. Question 11 will take comments of at least 1,000 words. If you want to say something at length, then it might be best to prepare it in Word or similar and paste it into Q11.

There is no hidden agenda in these proposals. There is an ambition to improve walking and cycling in and around Ludlow and everywhere. That makes sense. There is an ambition to reduce carbon emissions. That makes sense. There is an ambition to improve people’s health. That makes sense.

I want to promote walking and cycling in and around the town. I also want to ease traffic pressures in the town centre. I am not campaigning to close Castle Street car park (and it won’t happen because Shropshire Council will not want to lose the income). I want to improve disabled access. I don’t think it is practical to close King Street permanently even if it is desirable for pedestrians but we could reduce traffic. Some ideas in LCWIP are impractical but there are a lot of good ideas. No one surely is going to complain about proposals to improve the safety of crossing over the A49 at Sheet Road and Rocks Green? Or improving pedestrian access across the front of the station with a continuous path.

Where is the money coming from to implement any changes that are agreed? Shropshire Council has no spare money. It has to make £1 million of permanent savings every week this year. Council leaders have refused to create a dedicated active travel fund to pay for any needed infrastructure for walking and cycling. Any money for Ludlow will come from government grants or from the community infrastructure levy which is paid for by housing developers. When the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill becomes law, a new infrastructure levy will apply to all developments, including supermarkets. (Sainsbury’s, for example, paid nothing to the community for its development.) The solar farms around Ludlow are likely to provide a community fund, some of which might be used for improvements across the A49 and more broadly.

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll put together my views on improving the way we get to and from and around Ludlow. As always, I will be asking for your views.

9 comments on LCWIP: The next steps on walking and cycling plans for Ludlow

  1. Sorry to hear people are giving you grief for letting us know what’s going on Andy.

    Hopefully the housing developers can be made to fund proper A49 crossings but considering how few affordable homes they get away with offering I won’t hold my breath.

    Makes you wonder why the Council paid the consultant if they don’t have any money to follow it’s recommendations.

  2. I love cycling around Ludlow – what would be handy would be some safe – easy access (ie not tucked away up some alley but town centre – like near Costa etc) bike racks. So you can chain your bike up and walk around town easily, grab your shopping and head home.
    I can’t walk far so cycling is a great form of exercise to get me moving and into t town without too many problems
    However- leaving my bike outside shops especially on the narrow pavements!! causes anti cyclists to absolutely lose their mind on occasions- ha ha. Just a central spot to park bikes and lock them up would do people the world of good.
    Don’t know if the local schools do cycling Proficiency but they should bring it back – especially here. You hardly ever see youngsters in bikes? At a young age I was throwing myself around local woods and grasslands for entertainment and excitement- that is absolutely Not happening. Maybe even a youngsters off road cycle group/training in Mortimer Forrest?? I could go on – I have a trillion ideas for making a part of Ludlow and the near areas !

  3. If you really want active travel solutions more in keeping with the nature of Ludlow as a historic town, then you’d ban all but disabled car access, as it wasn’t designed for cars. But of course you won’t do that because “cars cars cars”

  4. The scheme suggestions to remove parking doesn’t mean that it can’t be relocated or offset somehow as that is not in the scope of the LCWIP. Ideally there would be a more functional park and ride service in Ludlow, but again that isn’t part of the LCWIP (and the document would get pretty messy if it was!)

    The funding really should be a mix of central and local. Hopefully part of the benefit of having a LCWIP/LTP will be that Shropshire Highways can factor in some of the schemes into their usual expensive maintenance works…

  5. why is there a need to improve crossings over the A49 at the sheet road island and rocks green we already have two sets of crossing lights what else could improv e them.
    lets get the local bus service improved by more buses using the park and ride so keeping more cars out of the town centre but still allowing town service via king street so the shops and cafes can still be viable.
    .

  6. Disgruntled says “ban all but disabled car access as Ludlow wasn’t designed for cars”. Any solution to a problem that defaults to banning something is likely to be simplistic. Ludlow wasn’t designed for mains sewage, electricity or all the other boons to modern life, but we don’t ban them, we make it work. Just imagine being a property owner in Ludlow and told you can’t access your property by car. Try running a business and be told no access for delivery vans. Need your property repairing – sorry, no access for maintenance vehicles. A tourist in Ludlow – no, you’ll have to get your luggage to the hotel or whatever by pack horse. Tesco home delivery in Ludlow? – that’ll be a no. So whatever the eventual solutions, let’s try to be realistic.

  7. The original blogs here on LCWIP carried information but also contained comment on the part of the author and allowed feedback. Bilateralism appeared to be the offer. Noting the “stick rather than carrot” in the initiative itself I continue to feel it reasonable to register some legitimate grievance and concern which should be construed as such.

    In summary

    1. This is the “cart before the horse” – glaring lack of level playing field between private and public transport.

    2. A piecemeal fragmented roll out of a concept through local authorities (as such initiatives are happening nationally) when lacking the sound and strong revised national planning context can make it viable.

    3. So appears to be set up to fail, and if not for clear public benefit so only right to question if there is an agenda here, and who is behind it? That question shouldn’t be brushed aside but faced.

    4. And incidentally slightly relatedly I suspect so many proposals for “sustainable measures” come from people who don’t use foot, public transport or bike much if at all. Can the Consultants from Exeter demonstrate that their work in Ludlow involved public transport rather than car use, because if they cannot that raises further questions as to the integrity of what is proposed. I doubt they travelled by train because for over a year the service is frequently interupted by strikes and lack of resources. How was such travel made and funded?
    thanks

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