Yesterday (Saturday 12 September) a group of twenty socially distanced local cyclists of all ages took a gentle cycle ride around Leamington and Warwick as part of the Worlds Biggest Cycle Ride organised by Cycling UK.
Organised by Leamington and Warwick Cycleways Member Chris Begg and led by Leamington Mayor Susan Rasmussen, the ride was intended to explore the existing cycle routes in the district. The group did its best to follow available routes but found these lacking, falling far short of the latest design guidance published by the Department of Transport.
Tony Lewenz Chair of Cycleways said: “The Government recognise the economic, environmental and health of cycling and are clear about their desire to get more people cycling with a target that ‘half of all journeys in towns and cities are cycled or walked’ If Warwickshire is to play its part it going to have to upgrade it cycle routes so they provide continuous, direct and well signposted safe routes taking people where they want to go”
Chirs Begg explained he had organised the ride because he was angry about the poor provision with very inadequate signage, unnecessary barriers and cycle routes ending just where they were needed most. He said “ The cycleway along Myton road is interrupted by every minor road and drive crossing it having right of way. This puts off inexperienced cyclists and means experienced cyclists prefer to use the road. Many cycle tracks are obstructed by chicane barriers and even a kiss-gate where National Cycle Route 42 crosses Warwick Racecourse, these are difficult to navigate and impossible for tandem, trailer and cargo bikes, they have to go.”
Susan Rasmussen, Mayor of Leamington said “I was disappointed to find Warwick had removed the temporary cycle lane on Castle Hill. This leaves no safe route into Warwick from the Myton cycle track.” Susan went on the say “I want to see Leamington lead the way making Leamington town centre a safe place for walkers and cyclist which we know from elsewhere will bring significantly more trade to town centre businesses,”
Cycleways continues it’s campaign to get Warwickshire County Council to implement Government proposals to promote active travel with a ride around the District on the 6th October for responsible Councillors and Officers. Details are on their website cycleways.org.uk