SCHEME AIMS TO GET ITS VISION IN PLACE BY 2021
Campaign aims to improve lot for city cyclists
By Michael Brown
CYCLISTS are gearing up to celebrate a new action plan that will map out how Newcastle will improve life for those on two wheels.
Building on the previously agreed Cycling Strategy for Newcastle, the key aim of the Delivering Cycling Improvements in Newcastle report is to create a vibrant cycle culture.
Central to that is the aim to ensure one in every five trips under five miles, rather than the current one in 50 journeys, are being taken on a bike by 2021.
Cycle campaigner Bill Dodds said: "Cycling groups, councillors and council officers have worked together to produce a realistic plan to help get more people on their bikes.
"The action plan will act as a reference document for all planning and transport developments and is an important part of our proposal to create seven strategic cycle routes in Newcastle. If good quality, safe, direct and convenient bikes routes are built, I'm sure that people will use them."
Newcastle Cycling Campaign chair Katja Leyendecker, said the new report to be published tomorrow was "a significant step".
"The cycling community has been campaigning for this sort of Dutch-level cycling commitment for years and we all agree what needs to be done next.
"A network of high quality cycleways is what gets people to consider cycling as a real, viable and safe alternative.
"Bike trips to work, shopping, and riding to school will become a pleasant way of getting from A to B.
"We are chuffed, and very much looking forward to playing our part.
"In some ways the journey has just begun. We now must ensure the Cycle City vision is translated into reality. It's going to be tough, but with focus, continued political will, firm leadership and learning from our continental neighbours, it is possible."
The report comes at a time when students are also turning to cycling with a new drive aiming to see them give up their cars.
The No Car Superstar project is challenging university goers to take part in a series of superhero-themed missions, for the chance to win a bike.
Northumbria Students' Union's President Jo Rhodes said: "We are really proud of the campaign and are pleased to be able to tackle such important issues."