Millions of pounds could be spent over the next decade trying to encourage many more people in Northampton to get on their bikes.
A draft cycling and walking strategy, which is currently out to consultation, reveals the extent of investment in the town’s cycling infrastructure between now and 2021.
It includes £2.4m earmarked for improvements to cycle parking, information and signing, as well as promotion and education on the benefits of cycling to health and the environment. Currently less than three per cent of Northampton people regularly use a bike, but ambitious plans have been set out to create cycle routes on existing or planned areas across Northampton.
These include just over £1m alone on the disused railway line link being opened up between Brackmills and the Castle Station, £405,000 on a link from Cotton End to south of the Carlsberg brewery, including bridge works. Another £500,000 will be spent creating off-carriageway links from the Avon/Nunn Mills/Ransome Road area through to Brackmills and the town centre. Other schemes include £671,760 along the Harlestone Road corridor right down to much smaller projects such as a cycleway along the length of Ladybridge Drive and between Kettering Road and Abington Avenue.
A county council spokesman said: “There are many benefits of cycling for both individuals and the wider community, in terms of health and well-being, financial savings and the environment. The strategy for Northampton outlines all the potential cycle schemes which could be developed.
“The proposed routes are about connecting the town with cycle routes as it grows so alternative forms of transport are available to allow for an increase in population. It is also about connecting existing cycling infrastructure to create a network which allows people to stick to designated cycle paths.”