Camcycle is delighted to be taking part in the 2022 Big Give Christmas Challenge, the seasonal match-funding campaign that supports over 1,000 charities across the UK. This year, the local charity is raising money for a campaign to remove barriers to cycling, enabling more people of all ages and abilities to ride for their everyday journeys. Donations made between midday on Tuesday 29 November and midday on Tuesday 6 December will be doubled thanks to the Big Give; supporters can access the donation page at camcycle.org.uk/biggive2022.
People from communities across Cambridgeshire often report problems with barriers on their routes. Some can be awkward or painful to navigate; many block access entirely for those riding larger or adapted cycles or towing a trailer. In a survey by national charity Wheels for Wellbeing, 51% of disabled cyclists reported being unable to complete a journey because of inaccessible infrastructure such as barriers.
Camcycle wants to make exclusionary barriers a campaign focus for 2023, supporting local campaign groups to work to remove or replace barriers that prevent a path being accessible for anyone walking, cycling or using a mobility aid. It has already had success in recent years removing barriers in locations such as the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, A14 active travel bridges at Swavesey and Bar Hill and on the walking and cycling path between Warren Road and Eastfield in Chesterton. It supports the Parish Council review of pedestrian barriers in Histon and Impington and continues to campaign for more inclusive solutions on King’s Parade and near the Abbey-Chesterton bridge on the Chisholm Trail.
Camcycle is also supporting national charity Sustrans in its work to remove or replace 16,000 barriers across its UK network. In the next few months, volunteers will be auditing the barriers on Cambridgeshire’s routes to identify which need to be changed.
Sustrans Regional Project Officer Alistair Crisp said:
Sustrans is delighted to be partnering with Camcycle to assess barriers in the Cambridge area and work to ensure that routes on the National Cycle Network are suitable for everyone. We urge people to support the campaign to remove barriers across Cambridgeshire so that together we can spend 2023 creating inclusive routes for all across the local walking and cycling network.”
Camcycle trustee Rosie Tween is a wheelchair and handcycle user and recently shared her views to mark Disability History Month (16 November to 16 December). She said:
It is essential, and also a legal requirement under the Equality Act 2010, to implement an inclusive approach to infrastructure if we are to have equitable and accessible cycling and walking networks where everyone can feel confident and safe. Around a quarter of disabled people in Cambridge already commute to work by cycle and we know that another 17% don’t ride but would like to in future. It’s time to remove barriers to walking and cycling and enable people of all ages and abilities to access transport choices that open up new opportunities and provide benefits to health and wellbeing. Please support our Christmas campaign and help Camcycle make it happen!”