As Chairman of Kendal and District Cycle Scene (KDCS) I am responding on behalf of members to the proposed spending cuts which may directly affect cyclists. KDCS considers that the network of Public Rights of Way(PROW) throughout Cumbria is a resource which needs to be safeguarded and maintained at all costs, for the following reasons:
- Tourism is worth £1.14 billion annually and provides around 21,000 jobs in Cumbria. Cumbria is major attraction for resident and visiting cyclists, who generate substantial income and employment for the county. Cycling, whether on or off-road is increasingly popular as a daily mode of travel, as well as for sport and leisure activity. There are numerous annual cycling events which take place within our area. Cumbria County Council’s Annual Traffic count shows a 52.3% increase in cycle usage from 2007 to 2010 in the Kendal District alone. Cafes, restaurants, pubs, B&Bs, cycle, outdoor clothing and independent food shops all benefit from the trade provided by cyclists. The PROW network will only continue to contribute to tourism success and cycling if users find it attractive, accessible well signposted and well maintained.
- The benefits of maintaining PROW in good order for residents and visitors are essential in encouraging the well-being, good health and independence of young and old. There are quantifiable spin-offs because the service helps to tackle such issues as obesity, mental ill-health and improved general well-being, whilst making a positive contribution to sustainable transport and carbon reduction. So financial support from the County Council for PROW helps to fulfil a wide range of Council policy objectives, and at modest cost when compared with the cost of maintaining the highways network. This consultation does not propose, or invite comment on reductions in the comparatively large budget for the roads in Cumbria. In view of the cuts proposed for the PROW network and other cuts to vital children’s and vulnerable adults’ services, this omission seems illogical.
- The PROW service represents good value for money because it draws in monies and assistance from cycling organisations such as Sustrans and CTC. The work of CCC staff is enhanced by the benefits of time and labour given freely by the numerous volunteers involved.
Chairman – KDCS