Decision Session – Executive Member for



14th March 2023

Report of the Executive Director of Place



York Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plan Update




1.        This report provides the Executive Member with an update on progress towards York’s Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP).



2.        The Executive Member is asked to:

1)   Acknowledge the progress made to date towards completion of York’s LCWIP.

Reason: To ensure the Exec Member is up to date and to enable him to highlight any concerns.



What is an LCWIP?

3.        In 2017, the UK Government published its first Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS), focused on making “cycling and walking the natural choices for shorter journeys, or as part of a longer journey”. This was the government’s first ever commitment to long-term investment to encourage cycling and walking and a step-change from the piecemeal nature of previous investment in promoting these modes.  Within the CWIS highway authorities were encouraged to pursue a strategic approach to investment for cycling and walking, with the aim of normalising active travel as a transport mode. To help them identify and prioritise strategic network improvements for cyclists and pedestrians the Department for Transport (DfT) asked highway authorities in England to produce a Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP).  The LCWIP would help highway authorities to identify their strategic cycling and walking networks and to then prioritise improvements to both, thus providing them with a basis for future strategic investment.

4.        The development of an LCWIP comprises several distinct phases:

·        Stage 1 – Determination of the scope of the LCWIP

·        Stage 2 – Gathering information

·        Stage 3 – Cycling Network Planning

·        Stage 4 – Walking Network Planning

·        Stage 5 – Prioritisation of Improvements to the networks identified in stages 3 and 4

·        Stage 6 – Integration of LCWIP Networks and Policy with other CYC Strategies and Policies

5.        The primary outputs from an LCWIP are Strategic Cycling and Walking Networks and a prioritised list of schemes which is then used to shape future bids for funding to Active Travel England (ATE) or the DfT.  An LCWIP is not a design-guide in itself, but can signpost relevant guidance which schemes would need to follow.

How does the LCWIP fit with other Strategies?

6.        The LCWIP and Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) both sit alongside the draft Local Transport Strategy (LTS).  The LTS was approved as the basis for city-wide consultation at the 14th February 2023 Executive meeting.  All three documents ultimately feed into the emerging Local Transport Plan (LTP4) which will be produced over the next year or so once the DfT’s guidance is published.  A key function, then, of LTP4 will be to make the strategic/ business case for the schemes which the LCWIP identifies as priorities for York.

Progress on York’s LCWIP

7.        Because York’s Local Plan has an important role in setting out housing allocations in the city, the conclusion of the Examination in Public (EIP) of the Local Plan during 2022 has been critical in identifying the spatial distribution of development in York that the LCWIP must respond to.  This is why the LCWIP is being developed now. In early 2020, the process of developing an LCWIP commenced through the commissioning of a scoping study.  This was undertaken by Katrina Adam of Sustrans, who had previously worked on school-related travel projects for the city council.  The draft scoping report was completed in mid-2020 and has previously been reported back to the Executive Member as an annex to the Active Travel Fund Programme report brought to the Executive Member for Transport Decision Session on the 18th January 2021.

8.        In early 2022, officers started the process of procuring the services of transport consultants to prepare York’s LCWIP as there was insufficient staff resource in the council’s Transport team to undertake the work in-house.

9.        Following a tendering process Systra Ltd, a multi-national transport consultancy, were selected to undertake the project on behalf of the council under the supervision of council officers and an LCWIP Steering Group.

10.    The Steering Group comprises council officers, elected members from several political groups and representatives from key stakeholder groups representing pedestrians, disability groups, cyclists and York Civic Trust.

11.    It was agreed between CYC officers and Systra at the inception meeting in early November 2022 to have as much of the preparatory work undertaken as possible before the CYC local election pre-election period which starts on the 27th March 2023.  Work on finalising the report would then have been completed in time for it to be adopted early in the next administrative period if the new administration were satisfied with its contents.

12.    A draft Background Evaluation Report (shown as Annex A) was produced by Systra and has formed the basis of the initial stakeholder consultation phase.  Three stakeholder events were held in mid-February, two online and one as a drop-in event at the Friends Meeting House on Friargate.  Stakeholders were given the opportunity to provide feedback on the proposed ten priority sections of cycle route and four key walking zones.

13.    The ten prioritised sections of cycle route and the four key walking zones have now been confirmed (see Annex B) and high-level concept designs will now be worked up for each of them.  Those designs will then form the basis of the second consultation phase.

14.    Following that consultation any changes which are deemed to be necessary to make the schemes acceptable will be made and then estimated costs will be calculated which can then be used in future funding bids.

15.    As the LCWIP will be a living document it will be updated as and when necessary i.e. when schemes have been funded or delivered to ensure a pipeline of potential schemes is always available.




16.    Two public consultation stages were planned as part of the LCWIP process.  The first stage, on the proposed priority list for sections of cycle route and walking zones, was undertaken in mid-February 2023 with a wide range of stakeholders.  The group of stakeholders included elected members, parish councils and groups representing walking, cycling and residents with various disabilities.  The second stage will be on the high-level concept proposals for each of the ten priority cycle links and the four key walking zones, will be with a wider range of stakeholders and will now take place after the local elections.

17.    Consultation with the new administration will be required prior to the final LCWIP being adopted.




18.    As this report is an update on a piece of unfinished strategic policy there are no options put forward.




19.    N/A.    


Council Plan


20.   This report relates to the following key outcomes of the Council Plan (2019-23):

·        Good health and well-being – encouraging more residents to use active travel through improved networks and facilities will benefit both their physical and mental health.  Safer facilities also reduce casualty levels for active modes.

·        Getting around sustainably – walking, wheeling and cycling are the most sustainable forms of transport so improvements for these modes will promote more use of them.

·        A better start for children and young people – improved, safer walking and cycling networks will encourage parents to let their children walk, wheel or cycle to school or for other leisure purposes thus giving young people more freedom.

·        A greener and cleaner city – if more people can be persuaded to walk, wheel or cycle then this has the potential to remove car trips off the highway network, reduce congestion and improve air quality.

·        Creating homes and world-class infrastructure – bringing our walking and cycling networks up to the same standard as continental Europe will help residents and visitors to choose walking, wheeling and cycling as the default modes for shorter trips.

·        Safe communities and culture for all – improvements to walking and cycling networks will reduce their associated casualty rates and will help normalise those modes as the most appropriate for many trips.  Increased usage of the networks will also help to discourage anti-social behaviour upon them.


Other CYC Strategies


21.    The LCWIP will contribute towards the all the council’s 10-year strategies, the Climate Change Strategy, the Health & Well-being Strategy and to a slightly lesser extent the Economic Strategy.  The LCWIP will make a very large contribution towards delivering the current draft Local Transport Strategy (LTS) and the emerging Local Transport Plan which will stem from the draft LTS.  Improvements to walking and cycling networks will encourage people to drive less for short journeys which will also contribute to the aims of the Air Quality Action Plan.  The draft LTS suggests that a 20% reduction in car traffic in York could be achieved through a doubling of current walk and cycle rates.  The LCWIP is obviously critical to achieving an increase of this level.




22.    This report has the following implications:


·           Financial – the council has incurred expenditure totalling £40k to prepare the LCWIP strategy. This has been funded from the Local Transport Plan development budget. Schemes which are put forward for future funding bids will have financial implications on future capital programmes alongside external funding secured from bids or from a potential CIL scheme.  The financial implications of individual schemes would be considered in further report to Executive or the Executive Member which will be presented as schemes are delivered.

·           Human Resources (HR) – There are no HR implications.

·     Equalities – The Council needs to take into account the Public Sector Equality Duty under Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 (to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other prohibited conduct; advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it and foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it in the exercise of a public authority’s functions).  An Equalities Impact Assessment will be carried out as part of the consultation exercise.  It is envisaged that improvements to walking, wheeling and cycling networks will directly benefit many of the groups with protected characteristics identified in the Equality Act 2010.      

·           Legal The production of the LCWIP is one element of the Local Transport Plan.  The Transport Act 2000 placed a duty on Transport Authorities to produce and keep under review a Local Transport Plan, which sets out their transport policies and plans. This duty has since been amended in terms of timescales. New government guidance on local transport plans is currently being drafted by Department for Transport (DfT) and was initially expected for release in the Spring of 2022 but was then revised to Autumn 2022. The latest update from DfT is that the guidance will be released soon. The Government had proposed that a Transport Bill would be published to be passed in the current session of parliament but this has now been delayed to the next session, due to start in May 2023.

·           Crime and Disorder – There are no crime and disorder implications       

·           Information Technology (IT) – There are no IT implications

·           Property – There are no property implications unless land adjacent to the highway needs to be acquired in order to accommodate proposed improvements.

·           Other (Highways) – concept designs produced as part of the LCWIP will potentially have a future impact on public highway space allocation, however, reports will be brought to future decision sessions for the relevant approvals.


Risk Management


23.    As with any highway scheme, there are potential reputational risks associated both if an LCWIP isn’t produced and adopted from the DfT / ATE and many residents who would benefit from the proposals and conversely, as a result of producing an LCWIP, schemes will potentially be put forward which other residents may disagree with because they may reallocate road-space or change priorities away from motorised traffic to active modes.


Contact Details




Chief Officer Responsible for the report:


Andy Vose

Transport Policy Manager

Highways & Transport

Tel No. 1608





James Gilchrist

Director of Environment, Transport & Planning


Report Approved


[Insert Date]







Specialist Implications Officer(s)  List information for all


Financial:                                        Legal:

Patrick Looker                                 Cathryn Moore

Finance Manager                            Corporate Business Partner (Legal)

Tel No. 01904 551633                    Tel No. 01904 552487


Wards Affected: 






For further information please contact the author of the report



Background Papers:







Annex A – Draft Background Evaluation Report

Annex B – Priority cycle links and key walking zones


List of Abbreviations Used in this Report


LCWIP – Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plan

CWIS – Cycling & Walking Investment Strategy

DfT – Department for Transport

ATE – Active Travel England

CYC – City of York Council

EIP – Examination in public

CIL – Community Infrastructure Levy