Letters: Cycle around Bedford instead of using the car

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Cycling Amsterdam
"At one time Bedford had a similar level of cycling to that of the Netherlands."

Dear editor,

With all the worries of motorists about Bedford’s roads being in chaos until well into 2021 and only a few days to go before the closure of the Bromham Road railway bridge on Monday 24 June for ten months, there is one solution that can be taken which has not been spelt out sufficiently and that is, to consider cycling instead of driving to work, the railway station, school/college, shopping and leisure activities.

Read: Opinion: It’s too late moaning about roadworks once they start

Bedford has always been a ‘Town of Cyclists’ and at one time had a similar level of cycling to that of the Netherlands.

Today the town has an extensive network of cycle routes made up of cycle tracks, dual use paths, quiet roads, many with a 20mph speed limit, and cycle lanes on the more busier roads which can get you from one part of the town to another including some neighbouring villages in 15-20 minutes. The network includes more than 100 safe crossings of the busier roads.

No more waiting up to 30 minutes to get out of the Interchange Retail Park or through the lights at the Manton Lane/Brickhill Drive junction in the rush hour as quoted by many frustrated drivers.

It is realised that not everybody is able to change their mode of transport for many reasons but just a 10% change would make a huge difference to the town’s congestion problems.

At the same time it would give plus plus benefits in reducing air pollution which affects both climate change and people’s health and at the same time making them more fitter.

Take that bike out of the garage, check the brakes, oil the chain, pump up the tyres and cycle that short distance. Once tried you will wonder what stopped you doing it before.

For a cycle map of the town see www.ccnb.org.uk/Bedford_Kempston_Cycle_Map_8.pdf

Cycling facts for Bedford can be seen on www.ccnb.org.uk/Bedford_Cycling_Quotes_Facts.pdf

Peter Blakeman,
Cycling Campaign for North Bedfordshire

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