Kate says 'On Your Bike!'

July 29, 2020 5:46 PM
By Rochdale Liberal Democrats

Local campaigner calls for better opportunities to get people out of their cars and walk and cycle more.

Kate Clegg - Cycling (Rochdale Liberal Democrats)

Speaking after a "beginners" cycling get together last weekend, Littleborough Liberal Democrat campaigner Kate Clegg had one thing on her mind: the urgent need to improve and expand provision for cyclists in Littleborough and Rochdale.

Kate commented, 'Given the reduced capacity of public transport due to the Co-vid 19 pandemic and social distancing, it is disappointing that Rochdale council did not bid for funding towards temporary cycle lanes and bike lock up facilities at Littleborough and Smithybridge stations. However, there are more opportunities in the future and we should get '

A prominent figure in the Littleborough Greenbelt Campaign, Kate sees the need for a major expansion of walking & cycling routes in the area - as well serious investment in public transport, in response to council home building plans. Rochdale council intend to approve the building of hundreds of new homes around the village - with no planned investment in road infrastructure to cope with the inevitable increase in traffic.

Kate went on to say that, 'Without significant commitment to preserving the safe walking and cycling aroutes in the borough and developing new ones, the proposed housing developments and rail corridor strategy will only increase the dependence on cars in the more rural parts of the borough and ensure long commute times at key times of the day'.

The announcement coincides with government calls to reduce obesity amid Covid 19 fears, but Kate Clegg thinks it's long overdue. 'We can learn an awful lot from the lockdown, the local air quality in the area has definitely improved through car reduction. Some people have been able to take up exercise and others have been less active. This is an ideal time to ditch the car once a week and improve our health and wellbeing as well as helping the environment."

She concluded, 'Littleborough needs better options around transport - walking, cycling, bus, rail and private cars all have a part to play. The council needs to be actively exploring all of them - and planning for the needs of the village and Rochdale more widely.'

Rochdale Lib Dems are launching a local campaign to get people out of their cars and to walk and cycle at least one day a week.

Headlines include signing up to ditching the car once a week and:

  • Safer cycle routes across the borough
  • Raising cycling confidence through training and courses
  • More bike lock ups at strategic points across the travel network
  • Access to free / cheap helmets, locks and safety gear for children and young people
  • A longer-term strategy to make our town and village centres walk/ cycle/ drive safe

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