News from our second workshops and how to take part in up-coming workshops
Movement and Transport – Wednesday 17 February 2021
Yesterday we had the second in our series of digital themed workshops for the Dynamically Different Dumfries project, focusing this time on Movement and Transport. Thanks to everyone who came along and for your energy and ideas.
There was great workshop discussion and lots of enthusiasm for change. Below is a flavour of what was discussed.
Those attending the workshops would like a vision that firmly establishes a culture change focusing on active travel and the reduction of cars in the town centre; a vision which reflects a welcoming ‘arrival’ into Dumfries Town Centre with accessible and consistent information about available travel options. The vision needs to assert a resilient and flexible strategy on movement and transport to suit all needs and help address the climate emergency.
There is a consensus on the need for any future vision to emphasise:
Connectivity around and between the town centre and the suburbs and wider Dumfries area
The attractive Dumfries environment to walk and cycle
Electrical and low carbon options
A radical change to encourage people to choose to use their car less
Accessibility for all ages and abilities
Efficient and responsive bus services and train networks
The need for quality transport options
The welcoming environment
Bright project ideas
Creating a responsive, efficient, and accessible bus system and network is a priority. Some groups were keen to establish better route connections and interchange options – including creating a centralised transport hub and demand responsive flexible transport. This will involve a medium to long-term review of the overall movement and transport strategy. Bus drop off and pick-up points need to help encourage tourists to move around the town efficiently and effectively – making the most of what the town centre has to offer.
Many felt that the COVID pandemic had demonstrated an appetite for behavioural change towards more active travel – with less traffic in the town making it safer for everyone to walk and cycle more. Many workshop groups embraced this shift and agreed there should be better provision of cycle parking and bike storage, the connecting up of dedicated existing cycle lanes to and through the town, the development of a two-way cycling route in the town centre, and an assessment made of the gaps in the provision of cycling infrastructure. Creating e-bike libraries and having more bike friendly public transport was welcomed, as was the possibility of introducing temporary cycle routes to help further shift behavioural change.
Improvements to the train station is seen as a priority for many groups. This includes dynamic wayfinding and destination signage to and from the train station, information available for travellers, and an increase in the number of destinations to Dumfries from elsewhere in Scotland/England. There is general desire for a better public transport offer.
Many felt that the de-criminalisation of free car parking will help to improve the experience of visiting the town centre, especially in areas such as Friars Vennel. Everyone attending the workshops thought the pedestrianised areas of the town centre should remain as such; with some of the view that they should be extended to include Queen Street and Ingram Street– to help, for example, link the theatre with the High Street.
Other options to help reduce car traffic include:
frequent electric shuttle buses through and coming into the town centre from the peripheral areas
extending 20 mph speed limits
park and ride / park and stride (e.g Introduce a park and stride / cycle route on the Lockerbie Road for school pupils at Dumfries High School and Dumfries Academy)
consolidation of some of the smaller parking sites and a strategic review of parking locations
parking charges – concurrent with an increase in enterprise and activity to give people more of a reason for come to Dumfries
decriminalising car parking to better control pavement parking
school ‘bike buses’
One workshop participant felt that Dumfries needs a major multi story town centre car park complete with electric charging points – and with a panel alerting people to the number of available spaces.
Overall, it was felt that better connections between all transport services were needed, including train, buses, cycling and walking routes, reflecting the need to connect communities in Dumfries, different area of interest of the town, and further afield.
The 20-minute neighbourhood ‘walkable’ town concept was welcomed by all, as was the use of technology to make it both easier for people to choose the transport option which suited them best and get around Dumfries (digital wayfinding).
Initial thoughts on partners to be involved in the delivery of these actions ranged from national partners such as SWEStrans, Sustrans, ScotRail, Network Rail, and bus companies, to local organisation such as the Chamber of Commerce, local schools and groups such as Cycling Dumfries.
Workshop summary replays now online
If you missed yesterday’s workshops on Movement and Transport the summary discussion is now available to view (about 25 minutes each). You can find them online via the DPAG Facebook page:
Dynamically Different Dumfries Town Centre Vision and Action Plan is about gathering your views and ideas for the future of the town. The third workshop on ‘Homes and Community’ is next week – Wednesday 24 February. Choose a 4-6pm or 7-9pm slot here: Dynamically Different Dumfries Events | Eventbrite
Places are limited so please sign up now. See you there to help create a more Dynamically Different Dumfries together. It’s your town centre – make your voice heard!
If you can’t take part in these online workshops as there are also other opportunities to get involved including:
– Visiting the Smithy on the High Street to see children’s posters.
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Look out for updates on the ‘Dynamic’ section of the LoveDumfries website.