diverse project experience gained in the public, private, and community sectors
Richard Lewis is a chartered town and transport planner. He has over 22 years of experience gained in the public, private and community sectors, mainly in policy and strategy. He founded ActivePlanning in early 2018 with a mission to influence healthy places where more people choose to travel actively on foot and cycle.
May we bring your attention to projects that have added most to our learning experience, with details below:
Runcorn concept masterplan
North Northants County Council: Kettering LCWIP September-November 2021
North Northants Council is a new unitary authority in the Midlands. Consultants WSP are appointed to lead the preparation of the council's Kettering Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan and have sub-contracted Brightwayz engagement specialists and ActivePlanning. ActivePlanning is providing strategic support as part of the team and is also supporting the public and member engagement aspects of the project for Brightwayz.
Cycling UK 2021-...
ActivePlanning is appointed by Cycling UK to prepare design guidance covering network planning, infrastructure and policy. The new guidance is up to date with regard to Local Transport Note 1/20, the Welsh Active Travel Act guidance and Scottish active travel design guidance. We also draft responses to Government policy proposals in support of (or even against) active travel in conjunction with the organisation's policy director, Roger Geffen.
Department for Transport 2020-... (reappointment)
Through a consortium comprising Sustrans, Living Streets, Cycling UK and Phil Jones Associates. Richard continues to provide LCWIP strategic support and review services established with a wider range of partners in 2019. This ongoing work also involves contributing to a new Active Travel website, a dedicated Basecamp chatroom for local authorities and revision of the current LCWIP technical guidance.
Harlow and Gilston Garden Town Review Panel
West Somerset Design Review Panel
Richard is appointed to the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town review panel run by Frame Projects. He reviews emerging proposals for all modes, with emphasis on walking, cycling, and public transport.
More recently, he has been added to West Somerset Design Review Panel and other Essex panels.
Strategic support and review: Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs)
ActivePlanning was appointed by the Department for Transport via Cycling UK to provide strategic support and review services covering16 (of 46) pilot LCWIPs prepared by various authorities, including two City Regions. Partners include Sustrans, Mott McDonald, and WSP.
Runcorn sustainable masterplan
ActivePlanning was appointed by EcoResponsive Environments to prepare a RIBA competition entry masterplan for a new development on the former ICI plant at Heath Park, to the west of Runcorn New Town near Liverpool. ActivePlanning influenced the planning and transport strategy for the winning bid and we were appointed by the client, SOG Limited, to further develop the concept masterplan to RIBA stage 2.
This amazing project would be perhaps the first of its kind in the UK to establish a sustainable transport plan from the outset, incorporating Freiburg-style filtered permeability, public transport access, city car clubs, extensive cycle storage and cycle infrastructure, cycle hire and streets suitable for play from the outset. A new local centre will make up for a deficiency of convenience shopping and evening entertainment in the local area, and there will even be a cinema / conference centre and vertical farm on site for residents to enjoy.
Lewes District Council
ActivePlanning was commissioned by Transport Initiatives to undertake a background research study of regular and electric cycle hire and behaviour change schemes across the UK. This enabled Transport Initiatives to prepare a report and recommendations about the location and cost of potential schemes.
Crawley Borough Council
ActivePlanning was sub-contracted by Transport Initiatives to undertake a comprehensive review of proposed active travel measures in Crawley. The borough council's ambition is to make the town an exemplar for Dutch-style cycle infrastructure designed in accordance with LTN1/20.
ActivePlanning was commissioned by Transport East (TE) to prepare the narrative and mapping for its Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP). We provided advice and text relating to transport proposals and desired economic outputs. The IDP is a precursor to TE's emerging transport strategy.
Prioritisation of low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs)
ActivePlanning and Maps4Planners were appointed to develop an evidence-based report that would enable the London Borough of Lambeth to prioritise its investment in LTNs. Various traffic thresholds were identified to show candidate streets. Other data including air pollution and the number of children attending local schools were used to prioritise investment within identified 'neighbourhood cells'. The report was used to inform the implementation of LTNs as part of the emergency COVID-19 response.
LCWIPs, supplementary planning documents, and guidance.
In partnership with Maps4Planners and CityInfinity, ActivePlanning developed a Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan for Buckden Parish Council. This involved a detailed walked and cycled appraisal of the parish's active travel network. The exercise included an assessment of wheelchair accessibility that was very revealing about how subtle features of the public realm can be very restricting. The commission included public engagement through an event and online survey. We used data from pct.bike and Datashine to identify the local potential for cycling. The result, a 57-page LCWIP document, is being used to attract funding from developer contributions and Cambridgeshire Local Transport Plan.
ActivePlanning has also provided LCWIP preparation advice to Arun District Council, Crawley Borough Council, and Slough Borough Council.
Supporting proposed Local Plan parking standards
ActivePlanning prepared an evidence report to support LB Lambeth's case for tightening car parking standards in new developments to below the levels proposed in the draft London Plan. Using processed data supplied by the client, we showed that ward-based car-ownership, even in areas with poor public transport accessibility, is generally lower than the London average.
Providing case studies relating to active travel in new development
For Cycling UK, ActivePlanning carried out a sample desktop study of developments in mainland Europe and the UK that were either successful or unsuccessful at facilitating safe active travel. A number of sites were identified showing mixed success.
Writing strategies for active travel incorporating community and stakeholder engagement
ActivePlanning and MP Smarter Travel worked in partnership to prepare a cycling strategy for Team London Bridge, which was launched in November 2018 by the mayor's cycling commissioner, Dr. Will Norman. The strategy covers infrastructure assessment, network design, cargo-cycle freight, cycle hire, cycle parking, and behaviour change. Business, stakeholder, and community engagement formed a key part of the project and included one-to-one meetings, a business workshop, presentations at two events, and an on-street pop-up stall.
Two follow-on commissions were awarded. Firstly we attended a cargo-bike demonstration event, which showcased the variety of vehicles and their capabilities for business use. Secondly, we carried out a brief study to identify the range of potential cycle parking solutions for London Bridge Station. Until the COVID-19 lockdown, Team London Bridge was also involved in a project to import a Quicab cycle taxi to the UK.
Providing support for community organisations
ActivePlanning and CityInfinity were commissioned by Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth to prepare a planning objection to a proposed housing development in West Sussex. The proposals failed to properly consider active travel modes and would lead to the closure of a popular cycle crossing.
ActivePlanning worked on a pro-bono basis with a local volunteer to survey a section of the Lea Navigation in Hackney, where poor towpath surfacing had reduced accessibility and increased risks to towpath users. The towpath surface had become pitted and in wet weather was almost impassable, especially for buggy and wheelchair users. The output was a speculative report sent to the Canal and River Trust for consideration. The path has since been repaired.
experience prior to founding activeplanning - Richard Lewis
2013 and 2017: Winning bidding documents
At Witteveen+Bos UK, Richard played a leading role in The Highland Council's successful bid to deliver a £6.5m Inverness City Active Travel Network. He sub-edited Royal Borough of Kingston's successful £30m mini-Holland funding bid and proposed new and amended cycle routes in the borough.
2017 Securing active travel networks and infrastructure from the earliest stages of site masterplanning
At Witteveen+Bos UK and for BDP, Richard played a key role in the stage 1 and 2 masterplan for the regeneration of York's historic but neglected Castle Gateway. He established clear design principles and designed a new separated cycleway connecting the site with the residential hinterlands to the south east and south west.
2015-2018 Designing concept cycle infrastructure
Richard prepared concept infrastructure designs for The Highland Council to illustrate the potential for separated cycle infrastructure and cycle-streets in Inverness.
At Witteveen+Bos UK, Richard prepared concept design layouts that were put into a VR visualisation for the London Cycling Campaign's (LCC) London Boulevard campaign.
Richard's sketch designs for Blackfriars Road, Stratford High Street and Parliament Square helped to kick-start LCC's most successful campaign yet - Love London Go Dutch. Versions of all three of the schemes were implemented.
2012 Cycling infrastructure design research
In 2012 Richard and two others cycled a self-guided 'infrastructure safari' through the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark, finishing in Copenhagen. This resulted in a considerable practical (user) understanding of infrastructure design in the three countries.
2012-2013 LB Newham Development Management
Richard prepared delegated and committee decisions and recommendations relating to major residential and larger planning applications. The work included pre-application discussions including GLA social housing developments and the Crossrail Wall. Achievements included an uplift and maintenance of the architectural quality of the new GLA homes and installation of a larger lift at Custom House capable of taking tandems and adapted cycles used by people with physical and sensory impairments.
2012 LB Newham Olympic Games Travel Plan
Richard prepared the Council's back office travel plan which served 3,000 employees working across all departments. The requirement was to increase working from home and to reduce pressure on the road and public transport networks during the Games. To assist these objectives, Richard commissioned a high-frequency bus service linking Barking, Newham's park and ride and the back office, adding further integration with the DLR station at City Airport. He purchased 24 pool bikes and provided support for the mayor to cycle to engagements around the borough.
2009-2012 LB Newham Local Plan and four borough Joint Waste Development Plan.
Richard provided evidence, policy and supporting text support for Newham's 2012 Local Plan Core Strategy (transport and urban design). He also managed the closing stages of a four-borough Joint Waste Development Plan Document.