Highly commended for walking and cycling

Luton Borough Council has been commended at the National Transport Awards for work that has led to significant increases in walking and cycling in Luton over the last three years.

​Recognition was made in the ‘excellence in walking and cycling category’ during a prestigious ceremony at the Westminster Park Plaza in London.

Luton’s submission outlined how we have achieved a 20 per cent growth in journeys undertaken on foot and 40 per cent increase in cycling from 2011-14, by encouraging modal shift. Special mention was given to journeys to and from school and work and the creation of realistic and alternative routes for walkers and cyclists.

Related schemes have also seen promotion of Luton’s parks and open spaces, and encouragement for residents to become more active and healthy.

Cllr Paul Castleman, portfolio holder for transport planning and infrastructure, said: “The award recognises a lot of hard work, not only by us, but also partners including Sustrans, the Luton and Dunstable Cycling Forum, Stockwood Park’s Discovery Bike Project and JMP, who led our successful personal journey planning promotion.”

Achievements include:

  • creating six new community cycle hubs, providing training, rides and maintenance for more than 500 young people and adults
  • cycling promotion with key employers, and improved cycle parking for businesses, community groups and rail stations
  • bikeability training for more than 7,000 school pupils
  • improved infrastructure for walkers and cyclists across the borough, through traffic calming, bus priority measures and 20mph zones

Cllr Castleman added: “Provision of the Luton Dunstable busway shared use path and work to refurbish the Riverside Way cycle and footpath has been particularly popular, and there is also now significantly improved access for walkers and cyclists around M1 J10a and into the town centre.

“The real success of our work is the knock-on benefits this will have on health, the environment and reducing traffic congestion.

“In a dense urban environment more than a quarter of Luton’s cycle network is off-road, which demonstrates our commitments to make better use of our open space and improving existing routes.”