Forum Digest 3rd July 2021

An introduction to the Infrastructure Focus Group

The Forum Steering Group decided to set up focus groups to support their work and develop some specific areas of insight and expertise to help further the aims of the Forum in delivering the Plan. Three groups were established with Margaret Crittenden heading the Environment Focus Group, Stephen Brown the Community Development Focus Group and myself, Ian Craik the Infrastructure Focus Group. The groups all feedback to the main Steering Group, and upload their minutes, present papers for reference to the Forum Google Drive.

I was joined by three local people with a keen interest in a sustainable future for the Area and ensuring it remains a good place to live, for both current residents and all the newpeople we look forward to welcoming to the Area over the next 20 years.

Resident in the Forum Area is David Rhead, a former leading light in the Pedals organisation that has an aim of improving cycling provision in Greater Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. He has a prodigious local knowledge and provides an impressive insight into both local and national planning issues with an active travel focus. A short distance outside of the Area in Long Eaton is Jenny Palmer, another lifelong cyclist and member of Pedals who commutes to Nottingham for her work as a journalist. We are also privileged to have Gary Smerdon-White from Attenborough as a member. He brings a wealth of experience in managing consultancy groups, reporting to local and regional authorities on subjects as diverse as road charging, delivering effective outcomes for local authorities, and the provision of integrated transport services with an emphasis on public transport provision.

Over the last year we have been working on various aspects of local travel, and have recently shifted our focus to the provision of public transport with an eye to not only current provision, but also the future needs of our community. With a huge amount of forthcoming investment and development impacting potential destinations for us, the shape of future journeys, whether via public, private or active travel, will look very different in 10 or 20 years time. There will be a need in the future for people to travel north west to the new developments at Stanton, north to potential housing at Wheatgrass Farm, south to Ratcliffe-on-Soar, south east to the East Midlands Airport & Freeport hub, and west to the potential HS2/EM Hub Station.

We have presented two papers from David Rhead to the SG, namely “Making cycling aviable option for accessing Toton Area Development from within a five mile radius” V1.02 and “East Midlands Hub Growth Zone Infrastructure for Cycling and Walking” v3.01. Both are available on request from

Two further documents are nearing completion and presentation to the Steering Group. Firstly, is Gary Smerdon-White’s “HS2 Hub & Chetwynd Development – Sustainable and Active Travel” and my “Delivering Active Travel Improvements in the CTTCNF Area”. I hope to be able to update you on these in the next few weeks.

Please do feel free to ask any questions you may have on this or anything else via the Contact Us page, and we’ll do our best to answer them via the Questions and Answers page.

Ian, Infrastructure Focus Group Lead

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