Huge drop in number of people across the Cotswolds cycling to work

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Huge drop in number of people across the Cotswolds cycling to work Huge drop in number of people across the Cotswolds cycling to work

THE Cotswolds has seen the biggest drop in people cycling to work than anywhere else in the South West.

New data supplied by the Office for National Statistics shows that in the last 10 years, there has been a drop of 26 per cent in the number of Cotswold people taking their bike to work.

In 2001, it was recorded that 1,119 commuters opted to cycle to work but in 2011 the number had fallen by 290 to just 829.

The drop, which is the biggest in the South West, is in stark contrast to a national trend of more people choosing to get to work by bike.

Shipton-based cyclist Paul Morrish believes that cycling in the Cotswolds has suffered in recent years because of the district’s rural roads.

“Vehicles are getting wider which means less space on the roads for bikes, pedestrians and horses,” he said.

“Pot holes are potentially lethal to cyclists. Hit one and you can be thrown off, avoid one and you can be killed if you swerve.”

Last month the Standard reported that a 15-year-old cyclist from Malmesbury suffered a broken collar bone and deep cuts to his face when he was thrown from his bike after hitting a deep pothole in Daglingworth.

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson, county councillor for Bourton-on-the-Water and Northleach, told the Standard that he has written to Gloucestershire Highways asking for more to be done to improve roads across the Cotswolds.

“The county has a lot to do to improve the conditions on its roads and to encourage people to cycle so they feel safe,” he said.

“While cycling to work in rural area will always be more difficult we can take steps to make it real option for people.”

Cotswold MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown has also joined the campaign to get more people in the Cotswolds cycling again.

The MP said he is very keen to see a safe cycle route between Tetbury and Westonbirt and would also like to see disused railways lines between Kemble and Cirencester turned into cycle trails.

Comments (3)

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12:46pm Mon 14 Apr 14

Geoff66 says...

This might have something to do with the fact that:
- the majority of the Cotswold's roads are filled with potholes and poorly maintained road surfaces making cycling both dangerous and awkward
- road edges are often overgrown and have become a major hazzard, especially when these are hardly ever maintained, cleared or cut back, and as a result road widths have become dangerously narrowed and a hazzard to cyclist
- CDC and Gloucestershire County Council, are not investing enough to meet the needs and aspirations of it's cyclist, both in terms of improving road infrastructure (i.e. cycle path networks, road surfaces, junction layouts, increased cycle parking and rack, etc..) and improving the overall safety of cyclist

In the Cotswolds it appears that the the stance taken by our council's is that the "Car is King" and therefore cycling will always come a poor second!!
This might have something to do with the fact that: - the majority of the Cotswold's roads are filled with potholes and poorly maintained road surfaces making cycling both dangerous and awkward - road edges are often overgrown and have become a major hazzard, especially when these are hardly ever maintained, cleared or cut back, and as a result road widths have become dangerously narrowed and a hazzard to cyclist - CDC and Gloucestershire County Council, are not investing enough to meet the needs and aspirations of it's cyclist, both in terms of improving road infrastructure (i.e. cycle path networks, road surfaces, junction layouts, increased cycle parking and rack, etc..) and improving the overall safety of cyclist In the Cotswolds it appears that the the stance taken by our council's is that the "Car is King" and therefore cycling will always come a poor second!! Geoff66
  • Score: 5

7:41pm Mon 14 Apr 14

mr fleas says...

Potholes are definitely an increasing problem lately (speaking as a cyclist and a driver) and maybe vehicles are getting wider but neither of these are confined to the Cotswolds. It doesn't explain why there's a decline in contrast with the national trend.

There's likely to be other reasons for the decline. Quite likely, over a period of ten years, these aren't the same individual cyclists; people move or change jobs, businesses have closed etc. Either way, without any reasons recorded with the collected data, it's just stats and speculation.

But if it gets the roads improved, I agree with every word said.
Potholes are definitely an increasing problem lately (speaking as a cyclist and a driver) and maybe vehicles are getting wider but neither of these are confined to the Cotswolds. It doesn't explain why there's a decline in contrast with the national trend. There's likely to be other reasons for the decline. Quite likely, over a period of ten years, these aren't the same individual cyclists; people move or change jobs, businesses have closed etc. Either way, without any reasons recorded with the collected data, it's just stats and speculation. But if it gets the roads improved, I agree with every word said. mr fleas
  • Score: 1

6:10am Tue 15 Apr 14

Olly Cromwell says...

Part-time MP Clifton-Brown has been talking about a cycle route near Tetbury for years - zilch has occurred.

Hodgkinson has already delivered a cycle route between Stratton and North Cerney along the Monarch's Way - he gets things done.
Part-time MP Clifton-Brown has been talking about a cycle route near Tetbury for years - zilch has occurred. Hodgkinson has already delivered a cycle route between Stratton and North Cerney along the Monarch's Way - he gets things done. Olly Cromwell
  • Score: 3

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