Last week's Environment and Sustainable Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee recognised the fantastic work by Bedford Borough Council in developing the rural cycle network. The committee received a report outlining the cycling infrastructure already in place across the Borough, the £100,000 signage investment and future plans for infrastructure and investment.
The committee received the report during Bike Week 2022, where people across the UK were encouraged to cycle to work, school or in their spare time. The report provides details of the Bedford Green Wheel, which is a long term initiative to connect the existing cycle ways across the Borough. The "wheel" will circle Bedford running through the villages that surround the town, the Bedford Cycle Network will provide the "spokes" and Bedford Town Centre the hub. In 2021, a £100,000 investment into new signage highlighted and publicised these routes.
The report also spotlights the 10 rural cycle routes identified as part of a 2015 report. These routes stretch across the rural parts of the Borough, connecting them with urban areas and beyond. During the meeting, Oakley Councillor Jon Abbott said "It is really good to see the signs going up. I often cycle the Great Ouse loop and the signs are really appreciated."
The committee also heard that the Council's Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan is underway. This is a long-term strategy to develop improvements to the Borough's cycling and walking infrastructure.
After the meeting, Councillor Abbott praised this long-term approach. He said "As someone who regularly cycles for leisure, I am very impressed with this strategy. It shows that this Council is committed to developing long-term solutions to the transport network. Providing these routes is fantastic for residents in the surrounding villages, like in my own ward, as they're able to access the town centre by bike via a safe and efficient route. Cycling is fantastic for your health and the environment, and I hope cyclists of all abilities can make the most of these routes."
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