Liberal Democrats have today welcomed the completion of a study undertaken by Atkins to identify the routes across the County where there are barriers to cycling, but says that more work is needed to identify those barriers to cycling in rural areas.
The study called for by Liberal Democrat County Councillors, Cllr. Hodgkinson and supported by Cllr. Dobie received unanimous support at September's full council meeting and was presented at today's Environment and Communities Scrutiny Committee.
The report has identified wide county barriers to cycling as well as specific barriers to cycling in Gloucester, Cheltenham, Tewkesbury, Stroud, Cirencester and Lydney.
Cllr. Paul Hodgkinson who proposed the initial study and who is also a member of the Environment and Communities Scrutiny Committee said:
"I'm pleased that this study has been undertaken. It is comprehensive in terms of the cycling barriers in our towns, but I am disappointed with the lack of work that has been carried out in identifying barriers to cycling in rural areas.
"Very few residents in the rural areas want to cycle to work because of feeling unsafe, and the lack of dedicated cycle paths.
"I've proposed that additional work be carried out in looking specifically at those cycling barriers in rural areas.
"The study has recommended a number of steps, but as yet no resources have been identified.
"I'm frustrated that so far this council is not putting its ‘money where its mouth is' when it comes to taking real action on the recommendations we’ve had so far.”
“It must be remembered that cycling doesn't just bring economic benefits, but is an activity that brings great health benefits too.”
Following the death of a man cycling between Gloucester and Cheltenham on the A40 Golden Valley last night, Cllr. Iain Dobie (LD: Leckhampton and Warden Hill) also said:
"This sad death highlights the need for a safer cycle route between the City and the Town.
“Quite rightly, the initial report recommends that creating a safer cycle route between Gloucester and Cheltenham should be seen as a Top Priority for action. Monday's tragedy underlines this judgement.
“I believe the time is now right for the County Council to commit to making safety improvements which its own study recommends."