Have your say over active travel improvements in Dorset

PEOPLE are being urged to have their say on making active travel easier in Dorset.

Dorset Council wants to make it easier for more people to gain the benefit of active travel, whether walking, cycling, or wheeling – using a wheelchair, mobility scooter or similar aid.

The council says making trips like getting to and from school, commuting to work, visiting town centres or enjoying the local area will benefit residents’ health, independence, pockets and the environment.

To help it develop its Active Travel Infrastructure Plan, the council is running a short survey to find out what routes are important to people and what prevents residents from walking, cycling or wheeling in their area.

Initially, views are being sought on a network of routes in eastern and southern Dorset – the most densely populated parts of the council area.

However, future plans will look at links in more parts of the county, so the council is keen to hear about other locations.

Councillor Ray Bryan, portfolio holder for highways, travel and environment, said: “We know that children want to be able to walk or cycle to school, while their parents, grandparents and carers benefit from being more active for their everyday trips too.

“Residents and visitors alike want to explore Dorset’s countryside and enjoy our towns without needing to get in the car for every trip.”

Many residents don’t have the choice of a car, the council said, with more than 23,000 households in Dorset – one in seven – not having access to a car, according to the 2021 Census.

“Residents without a vehicle are often users of wheelchairs and mobility scooters,” Cllr Bryan said.

Click here to take part in the consultation online

“Uneven, narrow pavements and missing crossings can prevent them from moving safely around their area, limiting their independence, with resulting impacts on their health and happiness.

“Being able to walk, wheel and cycle more easily can reduce air pollution and improve our own mental and physical health and wellbeing, even in small doses.

“Please have your say by taking part in our short survey. Your input will help Dorset access more funding from the government so we can make getting around their local area easier for everyone.”

People can take part in the survey on the Dorset Council website, or they can request a survey in an alternative format or a paper copy by emailing, or calling 01305 221883. The survey will be open until January 18.

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