Pedalling a healthy and wealthy message

Bike-Fixers-at-Leamington-Station-11The cycle has come out top in a Rush Hour Challenge on the three mile commuter route from Leamington to Warwick.

Last week saw commuters take to the saddle against the car on the commute between the two town centres.

The 8.15am departure resulted in the cycles taking 16 minutes, while the car sharing commuters took 27 minutes.

The route was from The Parade in Leamington to the centre of Warwick, a journey made by thousands of commuters each day.

A recent report revealed that of all the drivers commuting in to Warwick, 52% live within 5km, and that 25% (one in four drivers) live within just 2km of their destination in Warwick.

As part of the Rush Hour Challenge, another commuting duo walked from the Parade to Leamington train station, and then walked from Warwick station to the town centre, this still took just over half an hour.

Commuter Katie said: “It is only £1.90 for a return ticket from Leamington to Warwick and takes just a couple of minutes. I’m sure we could get this commute to under 30 minutes with a weekly ticket just being able to walk straight on.”

Bike Week (http://bikeweek.org.uk/ ) gets underway on June 13 and there is plenty going on to get people out and about on two wheels.

In a bid to make things easier and more convenient for cyclists, two new cycle ways in Warwick were recently completed.

A new cycle route has been created linking Cape Road in Warwick to the rear of Warwick Railway Station.

The scheme was funded with a Department for Transport grant to improve access to stations. The grant, administered through Sustrans, enabled Warwickshire County Council to convert a section of footpaths to cycle tracks.

This has created a high quality route for all users, providing a safe and direct route to the station, as well as into Warwick town centre, Warwick Hospital and St Mary’s Immaculate School, encouraging more journeys by cycle.

Last year, a 1km length of new cycle track was constructed between Woodloes and Saltisford in north Warwick, including a new bridge over the Grand Union canal.

This makes it possible to cycle almost entirely traffic free between the Woodloes in Warwick and Sainsburys in the town, helping cycle journeys around the town including from Woodloes to Aylesford School.

Councillor Peter Butlin, Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Transport and Planning, said:  “The Rush Hour Challenge demonstrated just how quick, easy and cheap it is to travel between Leamington and Warwick by bicycle and public transport, even during the rush hour traffic. We hope this encourages residents to think about their choice of transport when travelling between and around the two towns.”

Warwickshire County Council is also urging people to sign up to Love to Ride throughout June and commit to cycling for just ten minutes in the month to be in with the chance of winning some great prizes. See more at https://www.lovetoride.net/

Councillor Philip Johnson, Warwickshire County Council’s Chair of Overview and Scrutiny Committee for Communities, said: “Bike Week is a great time to give cycling a go as an alternative way to get around and to try out your area’s new cycleways. Making the switch to bicycle for just one of your regular journeys can help minimise the environmental impact of other forms of transport in the county.”

During Bike Week there will be two Pedal and Ride events at Leamington Railway Station on Platform 1 (near the bike parking), from 7.30am to 10.30am and from 3.30pm to 6.30pm on the 16 and 19 June. This includes free bike servicing, free bike registration, D-locks for £20 and light sets for £10.

In Market Square in Warwick on Tuesday, June 16, from 10.30am until 4.30pm, the town’s new cycle shop Velo Esprit is offering a Dr Bike service and free bike registration and information.

See the new Warwickshire journey planner at http://www.warwickshiretravel.co.uk/jp/