Transport Decarbonisation Plan aims
Transport Decarbonisation Plan aims

There are official plans and policies at national, regional and council level.

They form the framework within which the York & North Yorkshire Region and North Yorkshire Council (NYC) operate in trying to improve local cycle provision. We draw them together here.

Cycling & Walking Investment Strategy

The national government’s Cycling & Walking Investment Strategy (2017) and CWIS 2 (2022) state that the DfT wants to make cycling and walking the natural choices for shorter journeys, or as part of a longer journey. CWIS 2 is split into two sections:

  • strategy
  • financial resources

There is an aim that half of all trips in towns and cities should be cycled or walked by 2030.

Part of the strategy is to ask local authorities to prepare Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plans and to build to LTN 1/20 Cycle Infrastructure Design standards.

Financial resources for active travel were to be £2 billion over 5 years from 2020 to 2025.

In March 2023, the government announced severe cuts to that budget. The cuts apply to the two remaining years of the spending period, 2023/24 and 2024/25. The budget for these years is likely to be less than £100 million per year, instead of the previously announced £283 million per year.

Cycle Infrastructure Design

Cycle Infrastructure Design, or LTN 1/20, provides national guidance on the design of cycle infrastructure, and is the recommended basis for local authorities’ design standards for roads, where cycling is concerned.

Routemap to Carbon Negative

Transport ambitions, Routemap to Carbon Negative
Transport ambitions, Routemap to Carbon Negative

The York & North Yorkshire Region has a climate change plan called the Routemap to Carbon Negative.

It has been developed by the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and will be adopted by the Mayoral Combined Authority for York & North Yorkshire.

Key transport elements of the Routemap include:

  • reducing private car usage by 48% by 2030
  • increasing walking kms by 40% by 2030 and
  • increasing cycling kms by 900% by 2030

As things stand, the local authorities are making no serious attempts to achieve these goals.

NYC Local Transport Plan

North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) was required to produce a plan for local transport every 5 years.

The most recent NYCC Local Transport Plan is LTP4, published in 2016. It covers 2016-2045, but it is likely to be replaced in 2024. There is:

Executive summary

In the executive summary, NYCC mentions (p9) walking & cycling in relation to its objective of protecting the environment and preventing climate change, although the council believes it cannot directly influence the majority of travel choices in the county.

Active travel is mentioned in relation to the objective of promoting healthier travel (p10).

NYCC’s key commitments on walking & cycling are on p12, and include seeking ‘high quality provision for walking and cycling within and linking to all new developments’.

Parts 1 & 2

Parts 1 & 2 contain more details of the objectives, and NYCC’s approach to achieving them. Active travel is discussed in relation to promoting healthy travel, on p71.

Part 3

Part 3 explains the actions NYCC will take. It is divided into sections based on themes and modes of transport. Walking and cycling are in section 3j, pp156-162.

Section 3j says that efforts to provide for and promote utility cycling are to be concentrated on the main urban centres in the county, Harrogate and Scarborough.

Disappointingly, much of of section 3j is given over to explaining the difficulties in providing for cycling, and setting out the steps which NYCC feels it can’t take.

Among the rare positive points, NYCC commit to increasing their involvement with the Cycling Forums in Harrogate and Scarborough, and appointing a councillor as Walking & Cycling Champion.

New Local Transport Plan

NYCC was replaced by NYC on 1st April 2023.

A York & North Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (MCA) is to be set up in Autumn 2023, with a Mayor elected in Spring 2024.

The MCA will produce a Strategic Transport Plan, and the two local authorities (York and North Yorkshire) will each write Transport Delivery Plans.

Together, the documents will make up the Local Transport Plan for the Region.

Harrogate Cycle Infrastructure Plan (‘HCIP’)

Phase 1 of the Harrogate Cycle Infrastructure Plan (‘HCIP’) was drafted by consultants WSP and adopted by NYCC in July 2019.

It has a lot of background information. There are some useful comments and photos on best practice (p78 onwards); an explanation of WSP’s approach to developing a cycle network (p85 onwards); and a draft network map (p97). Draft priorities are listed in paragraph 6.5.

Phase 2 of the HCIP is a report accompanied by a series of draft designs, which were theoretically going to be the basis of bids to government for funding – but as of 2024, we are still waiting.

Harrogate Cycling Delivery Plan (2015)

The 2015 Harrogate Cycling Delivery Plan was produced under the DfT’s October 2014 Cycling Delivery Plan. The DfT document called for local authorities and LEPs to partner with the DfT to improve cycle infrastructure locally – in particular by developing a local walking and cycling delivery plan.

In effect, the Cycling Delivery Plan idea (nationally and locally) has been superseded by the Cycling & Walking Investment Strategy (nationally) and Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plan (locally).

Still, Harrogate’s 2015 Cycling Delivery Plan is a useful document. HBC didn’t publish the Plan itself, for fear that other local authorities might copy it.

HBC did publish a proposed list of schemes (Appendix A) and a map showing them (Appendix B). In a way, it’s more useful just to see the practical ideas, without all the words that go with them.

Harrogate & Knaresborough Cycling Implementation Plan (2013)

This plan developed was originally adopted by HBC in 2000, and subsequently added to and developed. A map of cycle routes was appended to the implementation plan – the March 2013 version of the map is at the end of this document.