Ambitious plans to make it easier for residents to choose active travel options locally have been given the green light.
North Somerset councillors adopted the Active Travel Strategy at a full council meeting on Monday (19 July).
The strategy sets out plans to develop more opportunities over the next ten years to ‘make walking and cycling the natural choice for a cleaner, healthier and more active North Somerset’.
The strategy aims to achieve a number of benefits locally including safe and frequent active travel to improve public health, a positive impact on carbon emissions, support for the local economy and development of active travel neighbourhoods.
By delivering the strategy, North Somerset Council will help to create and reshape environments that provide equal access for everyone and not just those with access to a car. There will be less dominance by the motor car to create greener, safer and more active environments for local people, businesses and visitors.
The benefits of increased active travel to both physical and mental health are clear, but the strategy also hopes to boost the local economy by encouraging shorter journeys and increased trade with local businesses.
A public consultation on the strategy was conducted between November 2020 and January 2021. 91 per cent of respondents agreed that an increase in active travel is needed to help North Somerset reduce its carbon emissions from transport. 77 per cent of respondents agreed that more should be done to give priority to pedestrians and cyclists over private motor vehicles wherever possible.