In Summer 2020 Dorset Council submitted a bid to the Department for Transport for funding under the Active Travel Fund (ATF). £438,900 has been awarded to Dorset Council by Government. The aim of the funding is to make it easier for people to walk and cycle more, particularly as an alternative to short car trips. Achieving this will help people be able to build physical activity more easily into their lives, reduce congestion and reduce emissions of local pollution.

In addition, some of the schemes will help to support local economic growth by using space more efficiently and creating more pleasant environments to encourage people to stay longer in town centres.

We want to understand the views of residents, businesses and visitors about the ideas behind these schemes, and feedback on some of the temporary measures which were implemented in summer 2020, to help people more safely walk and cycling in their neighbourhood.

Dorset Safe Streets engagement exercise - Summer 2020

Dorset Council asked residents to submit their ideas of places that needed improvement to help people to be able to walk and cycle in greater safety, including locations where social distancing was a challenge.

  • 1,306 people submitted their views, 948 of whom were later verified to ensure views were not multiple responses from the same email address
  • 899 comments were submitted in the Dorset Council area
  • 4,379 agreements with these comments were made
  • the wards with the highest number of comments were Melcombe Regis and Bridport (64 each)

The three main themes (accounting for 66% of comments) identified by residents and businesses were provision for cycling (434 comments), reduced speed of traffic (396 comments) and improved provision for walking (320 comments).

Individual responses can be viewed here on the Dorset Safe Streets map

Ideas proposed were analysed and discussed with elected Dorset Council Members.

Next steps on consultation and engagement

The process for consultation on the Emergency Active Travel Fund Schemes is:

  • Dorset Council will undertake further public survey and engagement work around each of the schemes to be taken forward under the Active Travel Fund
  • stakeholders including the emergency services, town and parish councils, Dorset Council Members and MPs will be consulted prior to scheme implementation

Timescale of the consultation

Scheme development with key stakeholders

  • May to June 2020: Active Travel Fund announced, Tranche 1 grant received
  • June to August 2020: identification of potential schemes through liaison with town and parish councils, Dorset Safe Streets and previous studies
  • July to August 2020: development of shortlist of high priority schemes and implementation of short-term schemes
  • August 2020: ATF bid submitted outlining preferred schemes
  • November 2020: Government announces funding award

Consultation and design

  • January to May 2021: Stakeholder consultation and public survey work on preliminary schemes commences
  • January to May 2021: Detailed design work
  • March to August 2021: Further engagement with key stakeholders (MPs, town councils, emergency services etc) over scheme design
  • March to August 2021: Consultation results published

Implementation and monitoring

  • April – 2021 – March 2022: Implementation of agreed schemes
  • October 2021 – March 2022: Monitoring of scheme impacts and further surveying work


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