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Highly commended for walking and cycling

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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.”

The Luton Hat Trail

The Luton Hat Trail has two routes to follow to walk by the old hat factory buildings.

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The Luton Hat Trail comprises two different tours of the town for you to choose from. Both are designed to cover the most intact
parts of the remaining historic hatting districts of Luton, each with their own architecture and character that are linked together by
the hat trade of the 19th and 20th centuries.


Trail 1 — the Bute Street area — is about a half-mile walk lying south of the railway. It houses a concentration of hat factories and
workshops, which were often large and sometimes of considerable architectural distinction. This trail lies within the Plaiters’ Lea
conservation area.


Trail 2 — the High Town / Old Bedford Road area — lies north of the railway and is roughly a mile long. It covers a more
dispersed area and includes the domestic side of the industry (modest scale workshops attached to houses). Part of this trail includes
an older part of Luton, the High Town Road conservation area.


Both trails start and end at The Hat Factory in Bute Street, by the railway station, where refreshments are available. There are also
several pubs and restaurants along the way. Most of the premises highlighted are not normally open to the public, however some
provide opportunities for visits. This may be possible by contacting the owners directly.

Meet Michael - Our Second archery challenge prize draw winner !!!

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Michael Adams  recently received  a fantastic Travel Luton Hamper after taking part in our prize draw for completing the archery active challenge, set up in partnership with the Luton Council of Faith’s ‘On target with faith communities for a healthy Luton’ project. The six week beginners’ archery programme encouraged residents to try out the sport to improve health and fitness, and meet new people in their area. The Travel Luton active challenge helped to chart progress over the course and encouraged the archers to choose more sustainable and active ways of travelling to the course each week.

 

Michael who is a retired accountant joined the archery sessions in Bury Park, this was the first time he had received any archery training.  Everyone present at the training session felt included as the instructors gave very clear instructions and ensured everyone participated.

Michael who travelled to the sessions by walking and taking the bus has since then improved in archery and hopes to continue taking part in the sessions, he even recommended the sessions to his son and daughter who have also joined with their children and they have all enjoyed it very much. Michael made new friends at the archery sessions.

We are pleased to see that Michael and his family enjoyed taking part in the archery training sessions and that Michael also found taking part in the Travel Luton challenge very exciting.

Meet Fahad, our first prize draw winner from the archery active challenge!

Fahad hit the bullseye when he was selected as one of our prize draw winners and received a lovely Hamper for walking to his archery course each week.

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Fahad Matin was a recent recipient of a fantastic Travel Luton Hamper after taking part in our prize draw after completing the archery active challenge, set up in partnership with Luton Council of Faith’s ‘On target with faith communities for a healthy Luton’ project. The six week beginners’ archery programme encouraged residents to try out the sport to improve health and fitness, and meet new people in their area. The Travel Luton active challenge helped to chart progress over the course and encouraged the archers to choose more sustainable and active ways of travelling to the course each week.

Fahad told us that he regularly walks to his archery course group, which meets at his local church on Friday evenings. The walk takes him around 10 minutes and is the perfect precursor to an active session! Fahad thinks that it is a fantastic community event where all people of all ages congregate to improve their archery skills and meet new friends in their local area. There are approximately 15 members that attend Fahad’s course on a weekly basis which has proved a really successful social event, drawing in people from the local area to take part.

"I enjoy archery and I find it relaxing. The whole team is like a second family to me and I have made many new friends through the programme; it's also fantastic to have a venue where we can meet every week". Fahad has also found that he is meeting new friends each week through the programme. His parting words to us were that he would encourage everyone to get involved in a hobby that interests them, to learn new skills and develop friendships within the local community!

We’re delighted that Fahad has found participating in the archery programme and taking part in the Travel Luton challenge a worthwhile experience, making him a very well deserved winner!

Upper Lea Valley Walk

Upper Lea Valley Walk

The Upper Lea Valley Walk is an easy self-guided stroll from the source of the River Lea following the course of the river into a beautiful green area of the town, then through Luton town centre and continuing into the Bedfordshire countryside and beyond.  The walk will present you with a range of important habitats and recreational opportunities such as walking, cycling and areas for natural play, while providing fine views of the River Lea, Luton Hoo and the surrounding hillside.  The logo for the walk is a white swan and locally the route is also known as the 'Swan Walk'.  Along the way you will notice a series of white swans on signposts, waymarkers and on the footway marking the route of your journey.  To follow the route from Leagrave Park to Luton Airport Parkway Station download the brochure Upper Lea Valley Walk leaflet To follow the route from Luton Airport Parkway Station to Harpenden download the leaflet Upper Lea Valley.

Local Walks

Local Walking Routes

Walks near and within Luton are listed on the Walking in Bedfordshire website.

If you wish to try a walk further afield the Walking In England website lists walks in every county.

Parks and Nature Reserves

Luton has beautiful parks to walk through, including Stockwood Park, Wardown Park and Memorial Park. There are also countryside areas in and near to Luton including Galley and Warden Hills Nature Reserve, Kidney Wood, Sundon Hills Country Park and Dunstable Downs with trails to follow.

Icknield Way and John Bunyan trails

The Icknield Way and the John Bunyan trails can be joined from Galley and Warden Hills Nature Reserve next to Luton. The Icknield Way travels from Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire to Knettishall Heath in Norfolk. The John Bunyan trail is a circular 70 mile walk from Sundon Hills Country Park that passes through villages and towns in Bedfordshire, although shorter sections of the walk can be followed.

Luton Hat Trail

The Luton Hat Trail comprises two different tours of the town for you to choose from. Both are designed to cover the most intact parts of the remaining historic hatting districts of Luton, each with their own architecture and character that are linked together by the hat trade of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Trail 1 — The Bute Street area — is about a half-mile walk lying south of the railway. It houses a concentration of hat factories and workshops, which were often large and sometimes of considerable architectural distinction. This trail lies within the Plaiters’ Lea conservation area.

Trail 2 — The High Town / Old Bedford Road area — lies north of the railway and is roughly a mile long. It covers a more dispersed area and includes the domestic side of the industry (modest scale workshops attached to houses). Part of this trail includes an older part of Luton, the High Town Road conservation area.

Local Clubs

Lea and Ickneild Group of Ramblers - www.ramblers.co.uk/groups/groupInfo.php?group=BF06
Dunstable Bogtrotters – http://dunstablebogtrotters.co.uk
Leighton Buzzard Ramblers - www.lb-ramblers.org.uk/

Walking To School

Walking to School

Walking to school is a fun and healthy way to get to school. It also prepares children with the basic life skills they need such as personal safety and road safety skills. If you live a long way from your child's school an option is to drive part way, park safely and to have a healthy few minutes walk to the school gates. This is called Park and Stride which can be set up as an initiative by local schools.

Playing games as you walk to school can make the journey much more fun. To download a leaflet with games, tips and suggestions please click here.

To find out more about walking to school in Luton and for help and advice see www.luton.gov.uk/sustainabletraveltoschool.

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