It’s wonderful to see so many new people enjoying cycling at the moment and spending time in our region’s beautiful natural spaces. Sunny spring days are perfect for daily exercise by bike with white sprays of elderflower and cow parsley in the verges and areas of colourful wild flowers surrounded by bees and butterflies.
However, we’ve been asked by our friends at Cambridge Past, Present and Future to remind visitors to their green spaces to respect the rules of each site and not cycle in areas where it is forbidden. Their Chief Executive, James Littlewood, says, “It has been pleasing to see an increase in people cycling to get to Wandlebury Country Park and Coton Countryside Reserve and we welcome people arriving by cycle. However, we ask that cyclists respect the ‘no cycling’ rule on footpaths within these sites and also respect our staff and volunteers in enforcing this. Please use the cycle parking stands provided before exploring paths on foot so that visitors of all ages can enjoy the space safely.”
We must all work together in this difficult period and Camcycle reminds all those cycling to ride legally and considerately at all times, remembering to follow the government’s coronavirus guidelines. Ride only with members of your household (or alone with one other person from another household if you maintain 2m distance) and be patient if an area is busy or narrow. If it is not possible to pass another person walking or cycling without getting too close to them, slow down and wait until you reach an area where it is safe to do so.
With a warm bank holiday approaching, we recommend that you research your route before riding somewhere new. Camcycle’s ‘Welcome to Cycling’ guide has more advice on safe and considerate cycling and you can check routes on the CycleStreets journey planner (dashed red lines show footpaths where cycling is not allowed). Individual visitor locations will also have their own guidelines: for example, the car park at Milton Country Park is open for visitors who have no other options but to drive for their daily exercise, but the High Lodge car park in Thetford Forest remains closed. Both sites continue to welcome visitors arriving on foot or by cycle.
If you are having difficulty maintaining the recommended distance in any areas you cycle or have a suggestion for a route that needs more space, please add your comments to our online form and support our Spaces to Breathe campaign by signing our open letter. We’re calling on decision-makers across the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough region to install emergency measures to deliver more space for cycling and walking to keep people safe and healthy during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond, and support the area’s economic recovery.