1000 bikes hits the road as Blyth gets active for 2011

1000 Blyth bikes

Over 1000 bikes have had an airing and a facelift thanks to the Blyth Active Travel Town project that has been working with people in Blyth to help them travel more actively everyday. The project – run by UK charity Sustrans - has been working with individuals, schools and businesses in the community over the past few months to promote walking and cycling as an obvious choice for getting around locally.

Mark Curr, Sustrans’ Project Coordinator, has really seen the project take off in Blyth.

“People have been getting rusty, cobwebbed bikes out of the shed, and re-discovering ones given as past Christmas presents, and we’ve been making them all ship-shape and ready for use again. It’s great that there are 1000 bikes back on the road and that even the cold weather isn’t stopping people trying to be more active. This isn’t about taking up cycling for sport, but just trying those everyday trips to school, work or the shops, without always resorting to the car. It’s amazing how many really short journeys we do in cars when we could walk or cycle them. “

Mr David Craig, who works at Homes for Northumberland and owns the 1000th bike to be made roadworthy, said: “The Blyth Active Travel Town project has enabled me to get back on the road quick-smart. Mark and Richard were able to quickly fix my bike and have been able to offer ongoing support for me and my colleagues. Get them into your work place to weave their bike-magic!'. 

Since it started at the end of the summer, the Blyth Active Travel Town project has been working with the community to help people choose to travel on foot or by bike for local everyday journeys. As well as fixing and checking bikes, the project has been working with twelve schools in the area as well as local businesses to help children and adults find easy ways to travel actively as part of their everyday routine.

Mike Bell, Headteacher at Morpeth Primary School which has also been taking part in the project, said: “Not only are the children taking part but there is a marked increase in the number of parents also cycling. The scheme has really caught on and even more children than the high percentage that normally cycle have been inspired to cycle.”

The Blyth Active Travel Town project is a town-wide initiative from Sustrans who are working in partnership with Northumberland County Council. It aims to support people that currently are or wish to travel more actively for their journeys to school and work. There are a broad range of activities including cycle loan programmes, cycle repairs and MOTS, a bicycle users group, adult cycle proficiency sessions, and staff events.

For more information about the Blyth Travel Town project, please go to http://www.sustrans.org.uk/what-we-do/active-travel/active-travel-projects/blyth

If you would like to get involved or find out more about the project, please call Mark on: 07795 576975 (mobile) or email:blyth@sustrans.org.uk

The Sustrans website - www.sustrans.org.uk - has a free online map service to discover how to get around everyday on foot or by bike. Search for local or national routes, plot journeys, or find what the local area has to offer from schools, supermarkets and local landmarks to car clubs, bus stops and bike shops.

Sustrans is the charity that’s enabling people to travel by foot, bike or public transport for more of the journeys we make every day. It’s time we all began making smarter travel choices. Make your move and support Sustrans today. www.sustrans.org.uk

Sustrans’ flagship project, the National Cycle Network, is now around 12,600 miles long and within one mile of 55 per cent of the UK population. It carries over one million walking and cycling journeys every day.

Sustrans is calling on UK governments to invest in doubling the number of journeys under five miles made by foot, bike and public transport to four out of five by 2020. Its current campaign for Quality Streets, www.quality-streets.org.uk, highlights the importance of slower speeds and encourages people to lobby their councillors for 20mph speed limits across whole villages, towns and cities. 

Source: Sustrans

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