Farming Matters: Championing cycling in the Vale

Aylesbury Garden Town Cycling Champion Cllr Clive Harriss
Aylesbury Garden Town Cycling Champion Cllr Clive Harriss

I wrote last week about my newfound joy in cycling especially as I discovered Aylesbury seems committed to embracing cyclists with a network of cycle ways in and around the town.

This week I received an email from the district council announcing a new Cycling Champion has been announced to promote the bicycle as a means of transport in Aylesbury Garden Town.

Councillor Clive Harriss, a member of the Aylesbury Garden Town Delivery Board, jumped at the opportunity to advocate cycling, as a great way to get fit and a more sustainable way to travel.

Obviously, no one is suggesting that every single journey we undertake can be done on a bike, it would be impossible to do a family supermarket shop on a bike, but if we can shift some of our journeys to two wheels instead of four then surely that is good for the environment and for our health and wellbeing- both physical and mental.

Cllr Harriss regularly travels the six miles to work in Aylesbury by bike and has already noticed a difference in his fitness levels and has lost weight in the process.

He said: “I’ delighted to be championing cycling in Aylesbury. One of the key focuses of becoming a Garden Town is to encourage more environmentally friendly ways to get around and going by bike is a great option.

“I’m already feeling more energetic and riding into Aylesbury in spring,through the gorgeous Buckinghamshire countryside, is a pleasure and a great way to start the day!”

Plans are already afoot through the Aylesbury Garden Town Programme to make cycling a more attractive way to travel. But essential to encouraging cycling is to provide safe and secure bike racks to enable cyclists to feel confident about leaving their bikes while they go off to work, shop or socialise.

I attended the official opening of The Exchange public space recently and was disappointed to see the design of the new bike racks outside the Odeon, which offer only the chance to lock one wheel to the stand.

The best bike racks are steel stands to enable the frame of a bike to be attached with a heavy duty D lock and then a chain can be threaded through the wheels as well. Hopefully these new racks can be altered to provide more suitable security.