Pedals power revives routes

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A major plan to revive Spalding’s network of cycle paths is hoped to make the town as bike friendly as Cambridge or Holland.

The project announced by Lincolnshire County Council involves a new route to link the town centre with Springfields, as well as repainting road markings and adding new “cycle way” signs.

Maps of cycle routes in the area are already being distributed to tourist information centres around the county, helping the town to cash in on the cycling legacy created by the Olympics last year.

Local action group PEDALS successfully applied to South Holland District Council for £8,320 of Springfields Section 106 money to improve signage of the route to the town centre and improve cycle parking in the town centre.

The group is also on a district council working group deciding how to use funds from the £230,000 power station expansion earmarked for cycling and walking routes.

Roger Smith, a member of PEDALS, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary of campaigning for improved cycling facilities, is delighted the news has come in such an important year for the group.

Mr Smith said: “Cycling is all about taking healthy exercise and not polluting the atmosphere on journeys that are safe to undertake.

“In Cambridge, Oxford or Amsterdam, cycling reigns supreme – we live in South Holland so it’s right we should follow the Dutch example by becoming more cycle friendly.”

One of the ways PEDALS has been promoting cycling is be encouraging town centre developers to include cycling provision in their plans.

Paul Coleman, of Elmtree Homes, is currently converting the Old Fire Station along the River Welland into three flats.

Mr Coleman said: “We thought it would be nice to include a sheltered cycle station in the plan, especially as it’s straight out on to the cycle path along the river bank from here.”

Coun William Webb, county council executive member for Highways and Transportation, said: “It gives me great pleasure to announce that we’ll be improving many of the cycle tracks around Spalding in the coming months.

“As part of the work we will be repainting road markings, adding new road signs and we’ll also be adding a new route to link up Spalding town centre with Springfields shopping centre. Just before Christmas we installed several new cycle racks in the town.

“We’re working with the local cycling group, PEDALS, to make sure that we’re providing exactly what the local community wants.”