An Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) is a data and evidence led approach to developing networks for safe cycling, walking and wheeling as set out by the Department for Transport (DfT), and is now a requirement for Local Authorities wishing to bid for DfT funding for capital projects for active travel infrastructure.
Frome Town Council (FTC) bid for funding from Somerset County Council’s Climate Emergency Fund to develop an LCWIP for Frome and has been working closely with the Active Travel team at Somerset Council.
Frome Town Council engaged consultants Phil Jones Associates (PJA) on the project. PJA have significant experience delivering LCWIPs and transport plans for towns of a comparable size to Frome.
Frome’s LCWIP was approved by Frome Town Council on 19 April 2023.
Why do we need an LCWIP?
Active travel is a core pillar of Frome Town Council’s Resilience work, due to the enormous health, wellbeing and environmental benefits it brings to individuals and communities.
Journeys within Frome are less than 2.5 miles, making it an ideal size for walking, cycling and wheeling.
However, the reality is that lack of appropriate infrastructure, such as dropped kerbs and safe crossings, make some routes impossible to navigate in a wheelchair or while pushing a pram.
Main junctions in Frome such as Gorehedge have no safe and direct crossing routes for pedestrians.
While cycling across town takes no more than 15 minutes, less than 2% of journeys in Frome are currently taken by bike.
If the recommendations in the LCWIP can be implemented, this would create a comprehensive network of safe, attractive and clear routes across town which would hopefully encourage much greater levels of active travel, reducing congestion, improving air quality, wellbeing and health outcomes.
In 2020 Frome Town Council undertook a large survey called “Walk Ride Frome” through the online Commonplace platform which gathered over 500 responses highlighting places where people felt improvements were needed for safe active travel. This data was intended to inform work such as the LCWIP and future strategies; therefore FTC did not repeat this exercise for the LCWIP but used the data from the 2020 survey.
Additionally, a working group of FTC Councillors, FTC and Somerset Officers, and community representatives was created to inform the process. The Working Group met four times throughout the process and joined in with the walking audits of the routes, as well as providing early feedback on the recommendations.
All the recommendations in the LCWIP would require detailed design and consultation before being implemented; this will happen on a project-by- project basis as funding is made available.