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Ryedale District Council thanks citizens for taking part in active travel campaign

Ryedale District Council is thanking citizens who have shared their views on walking and cycling in their area and the barriers they face to stop using cars for short journeys.

The District Council is keen to reduce the number of short-distance car journeys and replace them with journeys by active travel, whether that is by foot or other accessible means.

An active travel behaviour survey was launched in May 2022 to collect data from citizens to help inform a plan of where best to make improvements. The aim of the project is to make it easier and better for pedestrians to walk or cycle around Ryedale as part of their daily lives.

The initial survey received 141 individual responses. It revealed that citizens felt capable of walking short journeys around their local area and walked, on average, four times a week.

The main motivation for walking journeys compared to using private vehicles, was focused on the health and environmental benefits, reducing the number of vehicles on roads, and saving time by not having to park vehicles.

The survey also identified a range of barriers to active travel, ranging from existing pavements/footpaths being too narrow, not feeling safe at times, the need for more crossings and the need for better information around walking routes and green spaces.

The consultation held on Ryedale District Council’s dedicated engagement website also allowed for comments on an active travel map of Ryedale. That received 124 individual comments, with the largest number of responses from Malton, Norton, Pickering, Ebberson, and Kirby Misperton areas.

The purpose of the active travel map was to enable citizens to give more detailed feedback, highlighting areas for improvement, in addition to areas where citizens already feel supported.

Data from the active travel map showed that on average, most citizens felt their local walking routes required improvement. Key themes from the map feedback included better connectivity between footpaths, more crossings, green spaces, and clearer route information.

Phillip Spurr, Director of Place and Resources for Ryedale District Council said: “We are extremely grateful to our citizens who took the time to share their views about active travel in Ryedale.

“Their honest feedback will help us identify short-term and long-term plans, which can be taken into the new unitary council. We will be exploring and building business cases for new cycle routes across Ryedale and better connectivity between Ryedale’s towns and villages.

“We are also supporting the Levelling-Up bid submitted for a second platform and bridge works at Malton Railway Station to encourage more people onto public transport.”

Now that the initial data has been collected, Officers will focus on getting more detailed information about active travel in Malton and Norton on the basis that these are the areas that had the most respondents.

A survey to identify what improvements can be made in Malton and Norton now is underway at Active Travel Survey for Malton and Norton. Citizens in Malton and Norton are encouraged to answer the short survey by Friday the 2 September 2022. The survey can be found at: https://ryedale.commonplace.is/en-GB/proposals/new-targeted-survey/step1

For all other areas, the initial findings will be fed into the new unitary council as key research. The information gathered can help inform teams working on improving air quality, public health and sustainable travel. It’s anticipated that more public data will be gathered to improve active travel in these areas over the longer-term.

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Notes to editors

Images below show the findings of the first survey which will now be fed into the new unitary council as key research.