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Have your say on improving routes for walking, cycling and wheeling

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Dorset residents are being asked for their thoughts on which routes are important to them and what needs changing to help them get more active in their daily lives.

We want 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) for their health, their independence, their pockets and the environment.

Everyday trips like getting to and from school, commuting to work, visiting town centres or enjoying the local area, are a great way to be physically active while doing routine activities.

To help us develop our Active Travel Infrastructure Plan, we are running a short survey to find out what routes are important to people and what prevents residents from walking, cycling or wheeling in their local area.

We are initially seeking views on a network of routes in eastern and southern Dorset, which are the most densely populated parts of the council area.

Future plans will look at links in more parts of Dorset too, so we are keen to hear about other locations people would like to see improved.

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: across Dorset, over 23,000 households – one in seven – don’t have access to a car according to the 2021 Census .

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

Help us get it right by taking part in our survey here.

The survey will be open until 18 January 2024.