Mini-Holland cycling scheme proposals forNottinghamshire town

Council documents say it could involve “transformational” spending on roads and streets, making them as cycle and pedestrian-friendly as their Dutch equivalents.

Nottinghamshire County Council will put together a bid to create a ‘mini-Holland’ cycling network in Stapleford.

Members of the council’s transport and environment committee approved plans on Wednesday (September 1), with a consultation to be launched on the scheme.

‘Mini-Holland’ programmes were first introduced to the UK in 2014 by the then London Mayor, Boris Johnson, and offer support for councils to introduce Dutch-style cycling infrastructure.

Council documents say it could involve “transformational” spending on roads and streets, making them as cycle and pedestrian-friendly as their Dutch equivalents.

If a bid to Government was successful, it could include the installation of high-quality cycle lanes within main roads, the introduction of low-traffic neighbourhoods, and more space for pedestrians.

It comes as the Government roles out further ‘mini-Holland’ schemes following the success of three trials in London, helping to increase cycling by 18 per cent and bring a further 13 per cent rise in walking.

The Government is now looking to develop a shortlist of about 12 non-London areas to benefit from the same model, with Nottinghamshire County Council identifying Stapleford for its bid.

Documents state the town was chosen after assessments found a ‘mini-Holland’ scheme could increase cycling and walking trips.

The scheme could also link in with Stapleford’s £21.1m Towns Fund investment, and could also integrate with the ‘Cycle Superhighway’ plans within the Stapleford Investment Plan.

However, some councillors spoke in the meeting about the need for consultation, and to consider its impact on existing infrastructure.

Cllr Tom Hollis (Ash Ind), who represents Sutton West, said: “We aren’t Holland, we’ve got a very different culture to them, and I wouldn’t want to see something just dropped in.

“Certainly, pedestrian zones like what we’re proposing do work very well, but when we start talking about wider changes, we need to look at the context that our public transport is awful.

“I certainly support it but I would encourage as much consultation as is possible.”

Councillors on the committee unanimously voted to press forward with the plans, with a consultation to be launched prior to a business plan being put together.

It comes after concerns were raised about the safety of Stapleford’s roads following the death of a motorist last month.

Cllr Richard MacRae (Ind), who represents the area on Broxtowe Borough Council, raised the issue last month and welcomed a potential ‘mini-Holland’ scheme.

He said: “I’ve turned into a keen cyclist myself, more and more people have been out and bought bikes.

“But we’ve got to make roads safer as there are also more cars on the roads, and the state of Stapleford’s roads are really bad.

“I do think we need to sort roads and pavements, we need to make it safer and this includes cycling paths.”

Part of the consultation will assess “barriers” stopping people from making short journeys by foot or bike, as well as modelling the scheme’s impact on traffic and road safety.

Andrew Topping

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