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Holbeach regeneration plan includes idea for new cycle network

Work to make Holbeach town centre more cycle-friendly is one of three projects that could be funded by up to £7million of government money.

As reported in the Lincolnshire Free Press last week, Holbeach is in the running to secure a share of £1billion from a Future High Streets Fund aimed at “levelling up towns and regions” across England.

After an “expression of interest “ from a team at South Holland District Council working on the bid was excepted by the Government in October 2019, the challenge now is to finalise a more detailed programme by the end of July that will regenerate Holbeach.

A third project included in regeneration plans for Holbeach could make the town centre more 'cyclable'.
A third project included in regeneration plans for Holbeach could make the town centre more 'cyclable'.

The programme includes the development of a new cycle network for Holbeach, part of which is a cycle way between High Street and Fleet Road.

Coun Nick Worth, the district council’s deputy leader and who is heading up the bid team, said: “To be successful, bids have to demonstrate a very strong economic case and must have a long-term impact, rather than superficial changes.

“There’s an awful lot of cars in Holbeach town centre that originate from Holbeach and if we can make it more comfortable for people to cycle and walk into Holbeach, it will create health benefits and help transform the town centre.”

The cycle network project, alongside the redevelopment of Chequers Yard and improvements to the Market Hill junction, was a central part of the Holbeach Transport Strategy on which much of the bid is based.

Published in March 2019, the strategy stated that cycle lanes, routes and parking provision were “limited in and around” Holbeach.

“Around half of commuting trips wholly within Holbeach are by active modes, such as cycling and walking,” the strategy states.

“There is an opportunity to develop a comprehensive cycling and walking network for Holbeach, to support a significant increase in travel by active modes.

“The size of Holbeach, its flat landscape and lack of hills means that it lends itself well to walking and cycling.

“It is an inherently walkable and cyclable town.”

Should the town’s bid for government money be successful, Holbeach’s bid team has also laid out plans for speed restrictions along the potential cycleway and to get commitments from developers as part of the 2,000 homes planned for the town between now and 2036.

Coun Worth said: “New cycle routes into the town centre will encourage people to use a bike when coming into Holbeach, rather than driving.

“A town centre that caters for a growing population should be less dominated by traffic and encourage a mix of uses of the high street, including retail, housing and leisure.”

One of those uses could be a new cycle hub where sales of new and refurbished bikes, training courses and bike maintenance are centred.

Coun Worth said: “I think we’ve got a really good bid here.”

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