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Lets Encourage Cycling in Maidstone Borough
Over the last few weeks we seem to have had a number of negative letters about cyclists. Let’s please remember most of us residents have cycled at one time or another. The Maidstone Cycle Campaign Forum, set up in 2014 works to encourage responsible cycling in the Borough. We have worked with both Maidstone Borough and Kent County Councils to prepare a Cycle and Walking Strategy for the Borough (Town and Country), we have provided and continue to provide advice to the Councils on how the Medway Towpath can be improved. The New Loose Greenway and Medway Towpath show how safe off road routes for cyclists and pedestrians can be planned and built. What we need now are other routes to the Town Centre so that people can cycle safely to the Town Centre. Let’s also remember why people cycle along pavements, it is not for choice but safety, until new safe cycle routes such as the two I have referred to above, are more available in Maidstone this is likely to happen. The Forum believes that all cyclists should have lights and bells and that on joint paths with pedestrians cyclists should always use bells or their voices to warn pedestrians of their presence. The New Medway Towpath shows what can be done, and as people who use it will know it has led to a big increase in cycling. It is evident as other towns have shown that if safe infrastructure is put in place people will take to their bikes for commuting and leisure purposes. The Forum will work with the local Councils and others to put in linkages to the Towpath route to build up a number of safe routes away from main roads to benefit both cyclists and other road users by diverting cyclists away from dangerous roads .
Paul Harper Chair Maidstone Cycle Campaign Forum and Labour Councillor for Fant
Kent County County offer free cycle training courses to give people the skills and confidence to cycle more often for leisure and work. Click the link below to access their website.
Party Leaders were asked for their views in relation to the Walking and Cycling Strategy as published by MBC. The letter asked some specific questions for their response. They were asked to forward the request to their candidates so that they had an opportunity to make a personal response. By the 3rd May we had only received responses from the Labour and Independent group leaders with a holding response from the Liberal leader. The two responses are available in the Downloads section on the home page.