As the country celebrates National Cycle to Work Day this Thursday, local Lib Dem councillors call for cycling to be given a higher priority in Gloucestershire.
At the next council meeting on the 10th September, the Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Highways and Flood, Cllr. Paul Hodgkinson (LD: Bourton-on-the-Water & Northleach) will put forward a proposal that will promote cycling in the county by improving cycle routes and cycle parking.
Cllr. Paul Hodgkinson said: “Cycling brings a lot of positive benefits – it is not only good for your health, but is also good for the environment. It is a great way to reduce transport costs and can go some way to easing our traffic congested roads.
“It is encouraging that since the Olympics and the Tour De France we’ve seen a rise in the number of people using their bikes.
“I am keen for the council to promote cycling further across the county and to encourage short, urban cycle routes and ways for rural cyclists to cycle safely in beautiful areas like the Forest, and in my own area - the Cotswolds.
“I would like to see a more joined up approach to cycling – cycle paths are springing up but more often than not there is no strategic overview to link paths together.
“It is important that what is worked out is how someone cycles safely from A to B. Gaps should be identified and low cost practical solutions implemented and that is why I am also calling on the Council to undertake a study through existing resources to identify those routes where there are barriers to cycling and the costs involved in removing such barriers.”
Cllr. Iain Dobie (LD: Leckhampton and Warden Hill) who also supports raising the profile of cycling in the county said: “Only a year ago the Prime Minister called for a "cycling revolution" on Britain's streets and recently the all-party House of Commons transport committee called for £600m a year to be spent on promoting safer cycling.
“To put this in perspective: this sum represents just 4% of the transport budget (about the same proportion as the number of journeys made by bicycle in Cheltenham).
“Cycling provision in the county should not be an optional add-on or an afterthought to transport projects in Gloucestershire - cyclists are as entitled as drivers to consideration in the county's transport plans.
“By providing safe cycle routes in our towns this will encourage people out of their cars and on to their bicycles - I would expect all County Councillors to support this when debated at Shire Hall in early September.”
The motion reads as follows:
Motion – Cycling
This Council notes that cycling is good for your health and a great way to reduce transport costs.
This Council would like to see more done to promote cycling in Gloucestershire by improving cycle routes and cycle parking in the county.
This Council therefore resolves that through existing resources a study is undertaken and reported back to the Environment & Community Scrutiny Committee by the end of the year identifying those routes across the county where there are barriers to cycling and the costs involved with removing such barriers.
This Council also insists that as part of all highways schemes cycling and cycle parking is considered.