It’s so easy to get caught up in the demand for long, protected cycleways and high quality infrastructure (a worthy goal, of course), that it’s easy to overlook how making relatively small adjustments can make a notable difference for cycling.
One such location occurred to me today as I was cycling to the neighbouring town of Bedworth. My most direct route which also avoids the worst of the hills is obstructed at one point, where a cyclist is presented with two options: 1) dismount, walk a short distance along the footpath, use a pedestrian, walk a further short distance on the footpath before joining the next road to continue ahead, or 2) follow the road on a diversion that loops around to the destination and also includes hills on a busy main road.
A plan exists in Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough to create a new cycle and walking link adjacent to the route of a now disused railway line – from ‘The Nook’, a small nature reserve on the western edge of Bedworth, down to the corner of Heath Road and Smorrall Lane.
This scheme is an interesting one because, in my opinion, it shows the problems that can occur when only considering infrastructure as its own little project and not part of a wider network, and perhaps not properly considering cycling as an alternative means of transport to the car.
An 8x speed-run of a recent cycle ride from Bedworth, to Coventry Canal Basin, to Bulkington.
This ride starts on the National Cycle Network route 52, which quickly fizzles out. It’s predominantly urban, but does visit the Coventry Canal, and ends after a stretch on the rural B4109 out of the city to Bulkington.