What is K2L Cycleway?
K2L Cycleway is a campaign calling upon Warwickshire County Council to build an appropriate cycleway between Kenilworth and Leamington Spa by March 2022.
The aim of this route is to provide a safer, less congested journey for everyone, as well as encouraging a more active means of travel, alleviation of traffic and pollution.
The proposed route, currently used by cyclists at their own risk, could be an easy and safe three mile commute. K2L would join with existing cycle routes, for example to the Kenilworth Greenway and National Cycle Route 52 to Warwick University, thus a high uptake of the route is very likely.
Why is K2L Cycleway needed?
We believe this route is essential, and should be an integral part of the Warwickshire cycle network; providing an important step in the transition to a low carbon and healthy transport system for Warwickshire.
As it stands, morning and evening commuters face mass congestion and difficulties navigating cyclists. All of these delays and dangers for both drivers and cyclists is avoidable.
The route has been called for by many people and local groups, such as Cycleways, for more than 20 years. This is now especially urgent due to the increasing traffic volumes and Kenilworth & Leamington being listed as one of the most polluted areas in England. Last year Leamington failed World Health Organisation (WHO) standards for air quality.
The UK Parliament declared a climate emergency in May 2019, and the government commitment to reduce emissions cannot be met without changes in transport modes at the local level. We must all play a part at a localised level to combat this emergency. As well as Leamington in general being listed as one of the most polluted areas, Kenilworth High Street (Warwick Road), due to poor air quality, is in an Air Quality Management Area.
Improving cycle routes is a proven cost effective way of reducing traffic congestion, air pollution, promoting physical activity, and providing a health form of travel.
Connecting our two towns to enable more footfall will always bolster revenue. With parking facilities already under strain and set to reduce, encouragement of other means of access through cycling will undoubtedly cause a boost in both retail, food and drink facilities.
Lack of physical exercise is now one of the biggest threats to our health, it is responsible for 1 in 6 deaths in the UK (equal to smoking) and up to 40% of many long term health conditions. By creating and encouraging a safe, accessible and free active transport option between Kenilworth and Leamington we will have the opportunity to help our community’s overall health.
It is essential that there is a public consultation on the K2L scheme so that people's views are heard, and so that there is community involvement in the developments. To aide we ask the Council to provide a time table by the end of 2019 for completion date of the K2L scheme.