A STRATEGY has been published that would make Northwich safe to get around for cyclists of all ages and abilities.

Plans have been drawn up to create user-friendly cycling routes through Northwich's gyratory system and between the town and its neighbouring villages.

Sustainable transport charity Sustrans have spent a year studying Northwich to see how it could be transformed into a cycle friendly town.

Peter Green, from Sustrans, said: "Northwich has great potential to offer cycle and walking routes that will help meet both current needs and future demands as the town continues to develop and grow.

"The proposals, developed in partnership with the authorities, would help make active travel the obvious choice for those short journeys we make every day around town."

Sustrans were commissioned to write a plan for Northwich by a group that formed last summer to focus on the issue as a spin-off from the Northwich Neighbourhood Plan.

This group included representatives from Northwich Town Council, the business community, Active Cheshire and the Guardian's Pedal Power campaign.

The plan will now become part of Northwich Neighbourhood Plan, laying the basis for improvements for cyclists and pedestrians as the town continues to develop.

Mike Cooksley, lead for the neighbourhood plan's transport group, said: "The existing network in and around the town is relatively limited in its extent and does not provide a comprehensive or cohesive network for cyclists.

"During consultation many families indicated that they would be more inclined to cycle in and around the town if the network was more extensive and safer to use.

"In producing this strategy Sustrans have set out how we can create a more cycling friendly town and Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC) has already indicated that they are looking at how they can integrate some of the recommendation into the developments currently under way in Northwich."

Cllr Derek Bowden, from Northwich Town Council, which funded the report, said: "We are looking forward to working with CWAC and the Northwich Neighbourhood Plan group.

"We will use the Sustrans proposals as a springboard for making Northwich into a town that encourages people to walk and cycle for work, shopping and leisure."

The plan will form an official 'wish list' ready for when funding becomes available for improvements.

For a copy of the plan and maps email Towncycleplan@aol.com