New cycling strategy for North Kesteven

The Lottery-funded Sustrans cyclepath between Sleaford and Leasingham. EMN-170712-100340001
The Lottery-funded Sustrans cyclepath between Sleaford and Leasingham. EMN-170712-100340001

People will be able to have their say on a new cycling strategy aimed at encouraging participation and boosting fitness levels across the district in the new year.

The vision is to inspire more people to cycle in the district, raising awareness of its benefits, promote safer cycling and provide more opportunities for it to take place.

An action plan sets out how these can be achieved, including the development of ‘stepping out’ style mapped out routes with guides and information for leisure cycling. It also seeks to support more safe cycling training and review existing routes to identify any gaps, explore options for additional provision, for example to link local communities to cycling routes, and create online mapping of routes identifying safe cycle routes on highways, greenways, off road and dedicated cycle routes.

There would also be an emphasis on new developments contributing to improve cycling infrastructure at planning application stage.

The council also pledges to explore and bid for funding to improve existing and create new safe cycle routes and develop shared foot and cycle paths such as was achieved with Lottery money and supoprt from cycling promotion charity Sustrans in creating the cycle route from Leasingham to Sleaford.

North Kesteven District Council’s Executive Board approved the consultation at its meeting on Tuesday, December 5.

Coun Richard Wright, Leader of the Council, said: “Cycling levels in the district compare well to national averages but we believe they can be improved further.

“One of our priorities is to improve the health, wellbeing and sustainability of the district.

“We’ve already adopted a dynamic Sport and Physical Activity Strategy which sets out how we want to ‘inspire everyone to be more active more often’ and recognise we are all more likely to make a long-term and sustained commitment to improving our health and wellbeing through physical activity if there are a range of opportunities and options available.

“Cycling has many benefits, not only for the rider’s health but for the wider quality of the environment in which we live, work and spend our leisure time, as well as for the overall environmental sustainability.

“But we must also not forget the simple fact that cycling is great fun.”

Copies of the draft Cycling Strategy will be available for people to see at NKDC offices, Local Access Points and the council’s sports and leisure venues, including ONE NK and Sleaford Leisure Centre.

They will also be available online in the new year, with more details confirmed nearer the time.