In the summer 2020 SENS conducted an Active Travel survey. All residents of Staveley, Ings and Kentmere were invited to complete a brief questionnaire in July/August, and we received a total of 62 responses (some on behalf of their household, some as individuals).

Many thanks to all the Staveley and Ings residents who took part.

Download a copy of the report here 

 

SENS response and next steps

These are the headline messages from the SENS Active Travel 2020 survey.

  1. We want to be able to travel safely on foot, by bike, by scooter, and by wheelchair, and to raise our children to walk and cycle.
  2. We should have public transport that is affordable, as well as more convenient and reliable.
  3. We need to work out how to share our public space in a way which respects the needs of those who walk and those who cycle, as well as enabling customers and suppliers to reach local businesses.

The most significant findings were:

  • For those who were able to go out during lock down, it was easier and to some extent safer than usual to get around on foot and by bike.
  • Local residents value being able to walk and cycle around the villages, and to use the local network of footpaths, as well as to cycle further afield.
  • There are significant frustrations with the increasing amount of traffic (including HGVs and farm vehicles), and the problems posed for those who need to park near their home, their workplace or local businesses. A number of solutions were proposed – a car park with tighter parking control, speed limits, and a 1 way system with cycle track through Staveley.
  • Respondents identified a number of sites which were considered to be dangerous for pedestrians and/or cyclists, and thus for drivers too. There is interest in working together to map key routes to see exactly what needs to be done to improve them.
  • Respondents recognised that we have to better balance the needs of those walking and those cycling especially along places like the path alongside the A591 from Ings to Staveley, on Kentmere Road, and on the back lane.
  • Many of the problems identified require action by relevant partners eg South Lakeland District Council, Cumbria County Council including Highways, and public transport providers.
  • There are a number of potential improvements identified that could be implemented at a local level, for instance supporting the school to promote active travel, and working out how our limited shared space can be made safer for both walking and cycling.

The report was discussed with the Staveley with Ings Parish Council on 5 October. A number of potential joint actions were identified:

1 The results of the survey should be widely publicised. As one councillor said “these are extraordinary times”, with unusual opportunities for change. Some initial government funding has already been made available for Active Travel, with the promise of more to come.

2 The Community Plan for Staveley with Ings report will take full account of the results of the SENS survey. The report will be available via the Parish Council website. See the item in this October Newsletter which provides further information about the timetable for the Community Plan.

3 The results of the survey should be put to key partners including Cumbria County Council, Cumbria Highways, the Lake District National Park, South Lakeland District Council, and local bus and train companies (Stagecoach, Northern Rail and Network Rail). proposals for action.

4 The idea of “participatory mapping” was welcomed. This would involve local residents working together to review the most important walking and cycling routes, and to understand the priorities for improvement. In total 15 of those who responded to the survey volunteered to help with this, and we will extend the invitation as soon as it is Covid-safe to do so.

5 It was recognised that promoting both walking and cycling will raise some debate about how best to share public space for the benefit of all. There are particular concerns initially about the path between Ings and Staveley, Kentmere Road, and along the back lane. The survey provides the evidence to unlock a discussion about how best to design the shared space and as background evidence for CCC Highways, to justify the need for improvements.

6 The survey focused on Active Travel, but our results also show:

  • The problems with local public transport including the high prices and the lack of reliability, community transport options, fairer ticket pricing, car share schemes (post Covid-19), and station access.
  • Longstanding despair about the failure to manage traffic and parking, not least so that those who need motorised transport are able to be out and about safely.

There is a sense of urgency about all of this, a sense that people have been saying this for a long time and nothing happens. SENS want to use our survey to catalyse action which will improve the quality of our lives as well as contribute to the “other” crisis in our lives, the climate crisis.