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CycleWight, the advocacy group for cycling on the Isle of Wight have published their first ever Cycling Strategy for the Island.

Many local authorities have strategies for cycling but until now the Island has had only general policies as part of the Local Transport Plan. CycleWight hope that the strategy will make it easier for themselves and other groups to attract funding for development of new initiatives to make cycling easier and more accessible for everyone.

It sets out a series of principles aimed at making the Island a place where anyone who wants to is able to cycle. The principles include significant expansion of the dedicated cycling network, maintenance of cycle facilities, cycle safety and promotion of cycling.

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A series of maps are included to highlight potential opportunities to expand the Island’s cycling network, opening up connections between towns and villages. The strategy also calls for further work to make Island towns more accessible by cycle for people of all abilities. CycleWight have started work in this area by looking at the cycleability of every street in the Newport area.

Research has shown that there is significant demand for better cycling facilities, both from those who already cycle and the large numbers of people who would like to be able to cycle but don not feel able to do so because of lack of suitable facilities. CycleWight believe anyone should be able to cycle if they choose.

The group’s strategy appears at the same time as the government have issued their own plans for cycling and walking.

Tim Thorne of CycleWight said:

“This is a wonderful opportunity for there to be a real change on the Island if the council, its various departments and other interested parties will work with us. The government have indicated their commitment to cycling and walking and we hope the Island can be a pioneer for cycling in rural areas”.

The strategy, which took nearly a year to write, was launched at the CycleWight AGM. It can be downloaded from the group’s website at www.cyclewight.org.uk.

Further details can be obtained by contacting [email protected].

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