Rutland bike and footpath plans ‘unrealistic’
Campaigners have criticised draft transport plans in Rutland for taking the county ‘towards the 19th century’.
Rutland County Council has published ‘Moving Rutland Forward’, a document outlining the county’s vision for transport until 2036, alongside a draft ‘passenger strategy’.
Plans include making walking and cycling ‘the norm’, working with Anglian Water to consider having water taxis across Rutland Water, encouraging more people to cycle into Oakham, and exploring the possibility of a railway station near North Luffenham that would serve the St George’s Barracks development.
However, the Campaigners for Better Bus Services in Rutland group says this does not go far enough.
They believe it could move Rutland ‘from the 21st century notion of providing a high quality public transport network for all, towards the 19th century belief in providing the minimum possible levels of service for those labelled as vulnerable’.
The group says focussing on cycling and walking is unrealistic because Rutland is hilly and its villages and towns are typically four or five miles apart. This could lead to unused paths and cycle ways.
Instead they believe bus services would help all residents and visitors find an alternative to cars.
Coun Lucy Stephenson (Con), cabinet member for transport, said: “We are grateful for all the feedback we have received as part of our three-month consultation on Rutland’s latest Local Transport Plan.
“The aim of the consultation was to gather views from residents about all aspects of our highways and transport, so that we can fully understand their needs and plan future services.
“We are now carefully reviewing all feedback to the draft proposals, so that it can help to inform the next version of the plan.”
She added that Rutland’s ‘Bus User Group’ was also being refreshed to gather feedback from bus passengers, operators and the council.