CAMPAIGNERS are determined to harness 2014's biking momentum and make Northwich cycle friendly.
In a year that inspired huge crowds to line the Tour de France route in Yorkshire and will see the Tour of Britain pass through mid Cheshire in September, it has never been more important to make a two-wheeled journey to and through the town centre safer and more convenient.
The Pedal Power campaign was formed to inspire Guardian readers to get on their bikes, whether for the first time or the first time in ages – and safety and convenience are key to making this happen.
To this end we joined a new group formed in July to focus on this issue as a spin off from Northwich's neighbourhood plan.
This soon received backing from Guardian readers, who have written in with their suggestions about how to make a difference in the town.
Mike Cooksley, from the group, said: "The responses are measured and well thought out and all major on the fact that cyclists and would-be cyclists feel threatened by the amount of traffic in the town and lack of provision for cyclists.
"One of the respondents highlighted the fact that many of the current streets and roads in and around the town are wide enough to provide cycle lanes that would provide some safety and convenience for cyclists and the way that Poynton seem to be years ahead of Cheshire West and Cheshire Council thinking in terms of new 21st century 'shared space concepts' that provide a more integrated transport solution for vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians.
"It's interesting that Anne Osborne in the Opinion section of the paper ['Time to stop cycle menace' in August 20 edition] highlights the fact that cyclist are using footpaths which can pose a danger to pedestrians.
"Many of the cyclists are driven to using the footpaths because of lack of provision of safe routes and in a perverse way her complaint highlights the very problem that we currently have as regards lack of cycling provision and supports our drive for a safer town."
The group is currently working on finding the cash for a feasibility study into the project and hopes to win council backing.
Mike said: "In the year that the UK became so successful in hosting the start of the Tour de France and more locally hosts the Tour of Britain cycle race in September our local authorities should also grasp the initiative to make Northwich safer and more cycle friendly."