12 Mar 2010

Call for cycle path improvements

The cycle track between Nailsworth, Stroud and Stonehouse is clearly unsuitable for commuters and committed cyclists.

Photo: cycle from the Stroud Cycle Cmapiagn and below cycle tracks in mud!

Green county councillor Sarah Lunnon is reported in Stroud Life last week saying we need a bike path on the road alongside it. She said: "It is well used as a leisure path but what's needed is some decent, well-lit cycle facilities on the roads. If you want to commute you want to go on the road because it takes you where you want to go."

The path which is owned and maintained by Gloucestershire County Council and is popular with dog walkers and families has some stretches that are very rough and too muddy for commuters.

At Gloucestershire County Council's full meeting Sarah asked what status the track should have because it currently has none. Coun Stan Waddington (Con, Nailsworth and Minchinhampton), the cabinet member for the environment, said the status didn't need changing nor was there a need to improve cycling on the road.

Can he really have an understanding of what cyclists need? There is little way we can hope to encourage more cycling if we expect cyclists to commute on such unsuitable tracks. Having said that I do recall it was Stan who chaired a seminar on cycling last year - see here. It is then all the more disappointing that Stan didn't wish to look in more detail at what might be possible for this route.

Anyhow as a last point I recently came across this good website for planners re sustainable transport and new developments - as the website notes development location taken alongside transport investment decisions made today will influence travel for many years. We need to get it right - especially as we are now talking about new developments across the District in coming years: www.plan4sustainabletravel.org/

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