On Friday afternoon, on behalf of the BSDFA, I attended an online workshop for stakeholders of the East Herts LCWIP. The purpose was to provide stakeholders with an overview of the process and explain how they can provide feedback. All this will be achieved via the Miro board – a collaborative online whiteboard.

A fair amount of work has been done so far by the consultants who have loaded the Miro board with several cycling and walking maps (including one for Bishop’s Stortford/Sawbridgeworth area) identifying potential primary and secondary routes for cycling and walking. These are superimposed on the current road network (off-road routes were not highlighted). The maps end at the County border and as a consequence important connections into Uttlesford are not currently highlighted.

Our job as stakeholders is to comment on what has been prioritised so far and identify any gaps by annotating the Miro ‘whiteboard’ with virtual post notes. The consultants have given us a very tight deadline of 28 July for stakeholders to input their comments on the Miro board. When this stage of consultation is completed, they will then move on to detailed route planning to inform the final LCWIP.

I’m proposing that the BSDFA focuses purely on walking routes as Cycle Stortford (a local cycling campaign group) will be picking up the cycling side. I have a Zoom meeting with them this evening (10/7) as I’m sure there will be a number of route improvements that would benefit both pedestrians and cyclists.

What I need is local input on specific improvements that are required for the local walking network. I’ve jotted down some that immediately come to mind but I’m sure that there are plenty that I’ve missed.

1. The lack of safe crossing points for pedestrians at key junctions, for example at Hockerill and also the Whittington Way/London Road.

2. The growth of BS is creating a significant increase in traffic on the bypass. It’s now virtually impossible to safely cross at Birchanger Woods and we are starting to experience similar issues between the A120 (Tesco roundabout) and the A1184. This has the effect of discouraging people from accessing the countryside and rights of way network on their doorstep.

3. The development of a safe pedestrian route between BS and Stansted Mountfitchet.

4. Address the problems on the poorly maintained public footpath that links Bishop’s Park to Maze Green Road.

5. Traffic calming in Pig Lane as this is the only route to the Stort from the south of the town for those unable to tackle the pedestrian rail bridge and narrow river step bridge to the south.

6. Construction of the missing segregated footpath on the section of Wickham Hall Drive to the south of the A120 underpass.

7. Poorly maintained Stort towpath between London Road and Pig Lane.

7. Improved signposting to publicise the routes that already exist.

There will be a further opportunity for me to discuss the matter on Thursday morning (13/7) when I attend the inaugural meeting of the Bishop’s Stortford Town Council Sustainable Transport Sub-Committee. This will include a round table discussion on the LCWIP followed by an onsite visit to the proposed northern cycle route from the Causeway to BS North.

I look forward to receiving your comments. These can be provided via Facebook or via email: secretary@walksaroundstortford.org.uk

Dave Webber – BSDFA

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