Walk on: King's Lynn residents well ahead of national average for exercise
Eight out of 10 people in the Lynn area walk at least once per week, with keeping fit the key motive for exercise amongst local people.
That’s the finding of the Vision King’s Lynn Walking and Cycling survey which took place to understand people’s transport habits, and identify what improvements they would like in Lynn and surrounding villages.
The survey, in which 424 people responded, found that 86 per cent are walking at least once per week – more than the national average of 72 per cent. And, the number of respondents walking at least once a month is 96 per cent .
Also 65 per cent also said that they do cycle in Lynn, and of those a fifth of respondents cycle five times per week.
Keeping fit is the key driver behind people’s walking and cycling habits with this cited by 34 per cent as the most frequent reason why they walk and by 46 per cent as the main reason why they cycle.
Even though walking and cycling are clearly popular modes of travel in the Lynn area, respondents would like to see improvements to the condition and availability of routes, paths, and pavements. Generally, respondents would like to feel safe when they walk and cycle.
The findings of the survey will help to shape the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan which is being developed by Norfolk County Council and the Borough Council. The Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan will sit within the Town Investment Plan which could bring £25 million in Town’s Fund investment to King’s Lynn.
Councillor Andrew Jamieson, Norfolk County Council’s cycling and walking champion and a member of the King’s Lynn Town Board said: “We had an incredible response to this survey and we appreciate everyone who took the time to share their views. Your feedback has provided us with an invaluable insight that will help us to identify improvements that will enhance people’s experiences of walking and cycling in the King’s Lynn area.
“It is clear, from the findings, just how important walking and cycling is to local people by how frequently people are travelling on foot or cycle.”
Graham Purkins, chairman of the town board added: “It was fantastic to hear from so many people who gave their views in this survey. With access to beautiful countryside and within easy reach of all the assets of our town centre, it is evident that this area affords many great opportunities for travelling and exploring on foot or bike.
“These opportunities for walking and cycling bring many positive benefits for people, including
around health and wellbeing: from the feedback we can see that walking and cycling are playing a key role in helping people to keep fit.
“This is a great place to live, and for getting out to enjoy the area, be it on foot or bike.”
Other key findings included:
* The improvement that respondents would like to see for walking is well-maintained pavements; 76 per cent of respondents gave this response. This is followed by safe roads cited by 57 per cent and more safer crossing points (35 per cent).
* The main other walking improvement respondents would like to see is information on walking routes with 71 per cent choosing this option.
* Meanwhile, the two main cycling infrastructure improvements people would like to see are off-road and segregated cycle paths (87%) and safe cycle lanes (78%). The key other improvement that would encourage respondents to cycle more is promotion of local cycling routes, with 84 per cent supporting this.
* And, the main improvement around cycle storage that respondents would like to see is cycle storage in King’s Lynn town centre. 86 per cent of respondents would like to see this improvement.
Insight into young people’s travel habits was also gained in the recent Vision King’s Lynn Young
People (16-25) survey which found:
* The car is the preferred mode of travel for young people (53 per cent) followed by the bus (23 per cent).
* The main improvement that would encourage respondents to walk/cycle more is off road and segregated paths (44 per cent). And the main additional improvement that respondents in the young people survey would like to see to encourage them to walk/cycle more is promotion of local cycling routes (41 per cent).
The Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan will be developed over the next few months. The plan will cover King’s Lynn town centre, the Woottons, West Winch, Clenchwarton, Pott Row, and Grimston.
Follow Vision King’s Lynn on Twitter @vision_lynn Facebook: Vision King’s Lynn or visit www.visionkingslynn.co.uk for updates and further information.
* The winners of the randomly drawn prize draw were Ludmila Prohorova, Peter Chapman, and Jemma Redhead. Each will receive £50 worth of high street shopping vouchers.