Plans to introduce a shared space scheme to improve cycle and pedestrian provision in the Cornish town of Bodmin have been given the thumbs up by almost two thirds of people who attended a recent exhibition.
Under the proposals road signs, traffic lights and markings would be removed, the highway narrowed and footways widened.
A recent report by Lord Holmes of Richmond described the concept of ‘shared space’ as a “planning folly” and called for “an immediate moratorium on all shared space schemes until thorough impact assessments can be conducted”.
Bodmin residents, councillors and businesses took the opportunity to comment on the plans which were unveiled during a two day exhibition in June. Of the 433 people polled at the exhibition, 64% said they were in favour of “improvements to cycle and pedestrian provision in the town”.
Since then Cornwall Council staff have met with disability awareness charities and Bodmin Town Council to gain their views on the proposals. People also had the opportunity to comment on the plans during the four-week consultation which coincided with the start of the exhibition.
Councillor Steve Rogerson, Cornwall Council Local Member for Bodmin St Petroc, said: “Bodmin is at the heart of Cornwall and now it has the chance to benefit from being at the heart of cycling in Cornwall.
“The creation of the cycle routes will not only lead to benefits from tourism, they will also provide easier cycling journeys for residents to school and to work. The result should be less pollution and a safer, healthier, environment.”
Work has now begun to adapt the proposals in light of comments made during the consultation and the project team is working with the charity, ISight Cornwall to ensure the plans take into consideration the needs of people who are blind or partially sighted.
A further public exhibition to unveil the final designs is due to take place shortly before construction work on the various schemes start in December 2015. Works are scheduled to be complete by spring 2017.