Buckden Parish Neighbourhood Plan:
Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan
Buckden Parish Council includes the village of Buckden itself and its immediate rural hinterland. The village lies adjacent to the A1 some four miles west of Huntingdon market town in Cambridgeshire and two miles south west the neighbouring village of Brampton. The village currently has a population of about 1,500 with planning permission in place for a fairly significant housing development and some proposed (though opposed) development sites that would double the village's population.
Despite major road connections, the village is quite isolated in transport terms. There are very limited opportunities for safe cycling, the A1 is a major source of community severance and the local bus service is indirect and only operates for limited hours. Many (older) drivers find themselves increasingly unable to manage the high speed junctions at either end of the village.
A Neighbourhood Plan is currently in development and is accompanied by a suite of accompanying documents including a heritage and character assessment. The LCWIP was commissioned to form part of the suite of documents.
Villagers have long expressed a desire to be able to cycle and walk to Grafham Water, a reservoir about two miles to the west of the village. Various routes had been investigated, however these would be delivered at considerable cost (over £0.6m for one link).
Meanwhile, Highways England was constructing the new A1/A14 junction to the north of the village and had provided some community 'compensation' funds to deliver local projects. It was this funding that was used to commission the LCWIP.
In early 2018, ActivePlanning and City Infinity were commissioned, with GIS support from Maps4Planners, to prepare:
A Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan and
Design proposals for a new low cost route between the village of Grafham and Buckden including engineering drawings to RIBA workstage 1.
The process of LCWIP production included:
Initial site familiarisation and network appraisal of conditions for pedestrians and cyclists, the latter based on DfT endorsed Bikeability criteria.
Identification of key routes for walking and cycling, partly as a result of site visits with Parish Councillors
A public engagement workshop that included inputs from primary school children
Infrastructure listing and prioritisation, which concluded that a new route between the village and Hinchingbrooke School would be the most important investment.
Integration of the LCWIP with other plans and projects including the Infrastructure Development Plan and major housing development allocations to the north of Huntingdon.
The LCWIP was adopted on 10th September 2019 and is now being used to lever CIL and s.106 funding to deliver the required infrastructures. Cambridgeshire County Council have also expressed an interest in adopting it as part of their wider LCWIP package.