Cycleways, in conjunction with Clean Air for Leamington Spa and Clean Air Warwick, have launched their Visionary Cycle Network for Warwick District.
Recognising the health and environmental benefits of cycling, three local groups are spearheading the campaign for the creation of a comprehensive network of safe cycling paths in Warwick District.
56% of car journeys are under 5 miles and 49% of people in Warwick District work less than 3 miles from their home, distances that most people could easily cycle with the right infrastructure. Many who want to cycle can't because of a lack of safe and continuous cycling routes.
Susan Rasmussen, Mayor of Royal Leamington Spa and member of Clean Air for Leamington Spa said, “If we could encourage more people to cycle rather than take the car for short journeys it would significantly reduce pollution in our town centres, as well as making them healthier, happier places. There is clearly a demand for it amongst the people I speak to on a daily basis.”
They have included a map of the proposed network created by Cycleways member and Transport Planner Mark Lever, which illustrates the scale of ambition.
He said, "By organising the existing, planned and aspirational routes into a single Tube-style network I wanted to create an identity that could help the community push for better infrastructure, greater investment and joined-up planning. Many of the proposed routes seem to have been talked about for years.
"The more I've spoken to people about this idea, the more potential I've realised it has. There is a real desire for exceptional cycle facilities that will encourage a shift to sustainable travel but also help those who need to travel by other means. By getting people onto their bikes on properly segregated routes it leaves more space on the roads for those who need to travel by car and reduces conflicts with pedestrians."
Tony Lewenz, Chair of Cycleways said: ”Provision for cycling in our district could be so much better - existing routes do not join up and little of it meets the vision laid down by Government in Gear Change, their vision for cycling.
“We feel it is time to release our Visionary Cycle Network now as Warwickshire County Council are developing a Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan and updating their Local Transport Plan. We are launching our manifesto today with that foremost in our minds but we want to work with the community, businesses and other organisations to push for radical interventions that will encourage and enable more people to get on their bikes.