Spalding and Peterborough Transport Forum makes call to get the town cycling
A better network of cycle routes is needed to encourage people to use their bikes in Spalding, according to transport campaigners.
Members of Spalding and Peterborough Transport Forum discussed a number of issues affecting the town last week - and called for a big push to help improve cycle usage.
They said that a properly joined up cycle network could help to cut congestion and ease long-standing parking problems around our schools - and would encourage exercise in an area where 45% of adults are ‘inactive’.
It was also flagged up as a way to help hard-up motorists to cut their spiralling petrol and diesel costs.
Forum chairman George Scott said: “I think the transport forum should back a campaign to get kids interested in cycling.”
He added: “I was recently asked about the fuel crisis – and what’s the alternative? The only alternative is to get on your bike. Wouldn’t it be lovely if kids and parents could cycle to school safely?”
Stewart Elderkin, a Pedals member and mountain bike rider, said: “We have got some cycle ways but they are not all linked up and we have got some quite dangerous junctions
“We need it to be that you can get from point A to point B, make it easy and make it attractive.”
He said there would need to be off-road environments where children could learn to ride bike away from traffic - and said the landscape should make it easy to foster the sort of widespread cycling habits seen in European cities, adding: “We are not called South Holland for no reason, look at Holland.”
Fellow Pedals member Ben Sear said: “It needs to come from a cultural change. Because we are a rural area, public transpoirt isn’t amazing and a lot of people end up in vehicles.”
It was suggested that the town could try to learn lessons from Peterborough - where cycle links and the planning of routes was widely praised.
Pedals will be asked for their opinion on a campaign, with Mr Scott keen to support them.
He also vowed to work with East Midlands Railways to make it easier for people to take their bikes onto trains - or leave them in a safer place at Spalding Railway Station.
Lincolnshire County Council was recently awarded £1.8million to help improve walking and cycling between Pinchbeck and Spalding. The area was flagged as a priority as part of the council’s Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan.