IT wouldn’t take much to really make Redditch a cycling town – that’s the verdict of the Borough’s Green Party leader Claire Davies.
Speaking in the wake of the government’s announcement of £250million being made available in 2020/21 to promote cycling in the UK, she said: “Redditch really lends itself to walking and cycling and there are so many footpaths that could easily be turned into cycleways too.
“Let’s start re-imagining our world – I for one don’t want to go back to how things were.”
The impact of coronavirus has led thousands of people to enjoy the simple, healthy pleasures of cycling and walking.
Already cities around the world are building in extra provision for cyclists and the government has made the money available so it can take off here too.
However Claire said it has to be more than just cycle paths – secure parking was necessary too as were facilities to freshen up.
And she acknowledged that Redditch could be the place where electric bikes really take off.
“There’s no getting away from the fact that Redditch is on a hill and given the terrain it might well be the ideal place for e-bikes, although these are a considerable investment, emphasising the need for secure parking,” she said.
However with the town the headquarters of the UK’s biggest cycle retailer, Halfords, and MP Rachel Maclean a minister in the Department of Transport, the opportunity was there to explore possibilities further.
“It needn’t cost a lot of money,” said Claire.
“We already have a network of paths but for this to work they need to be official and obvious – some of the potholes are awful.
“But there’s no reason why with the right backing it can’t happen – let us make the most of the opportunity presented to us.
“The government is talking about ‘pop up’ cycle paths, why not make them permanent because after we’ve tackled the Covid-19 crisis, the next one will be the climate crisis.”