Cycling needs encouraging in the Fens to avoid future traffic congestion, says charity

Sustrans wants to encourage more people to get on their bikes to help reduce congestion

Sustrans wants to encourage more people to get on their bikes to help reduce congestion - Credit: Archant

Cycling should be encouraged in Fenland by setting aside £20 a head to create cycle areas and 20mph urban zones to make it safer for people on bikes, according to a charity.

Despite a perfect cycling landscape, the area only ranks as 169 out of 326 in the country of people who cycle once or more a month.

In a table of people who cycle five or more times a week that figure drops to 226.

Matt Barber, head of partnerships for Sustrans national network of cycle routes, said: “With an expanding population we need to embrace active travel even more.

“The key to this is to invest more in cycling infrastructure and make cycling safer.

“This can be done by designing innovative infrastructure and reducing the speed limit in urban areas.

“Making active travel safer and more accessible must be a priority for the new Mayor so that people can choose healthier, cleaner and cheaper journeys.”

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Sustrans is a national charity that enables people to travel by foot, bike or public transport and has set out its priorities for the incoming Cambridgeshire and Peterborough mayor.

The group has asked each candidate to include these in their manifesto ahead of the election in May.

The Combined Authority area of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is one of the fastest growing areas in the UK.

Evidence, says Sustrans, that the mayor needs to embrace active travel if traffic congestion is to be avoided in the future by:

•.Investing £20 per head on cycling infrastructure across the area.

• Creating safer spaces for cyclists and pedestrians by reducing the default speed limit across all urban areas to 20 mph.

Mr Barber said that safety is the key to changing attitudes to cycling.

In 2012 the charity found that 56 per cent of people felt cycling on roads in built up areas was not safe.

Sustrans figures show:

Percentage of population cycling once or more a month:

Cambridge – 1st

South Cambs – 6th

Peterborough – 15th

East Cambs – 47th

Huntingdonshire – 120th

Fenland – 169th

Percentage of population making five or more utility trips per week

Cambridge – 1st

South Cambs – 13th

Peterborough –38th

Huntingdonshire – 92nd

East Cambs – 223rd

Fenland –226nd