Council leader takes to her bike to celebrate Chichester’s new cycle route

Ed Clark, cycle training development officer,  Louise Goldsmith, Deborah Urquhart, Dean Pocock, Bikeability scheme manager
Ed Clark, cycle training development officer, Louise Goldsmith, Deborah Urquhart, Dean Pocock, Bikeability scheme manager

Bike Week 2019 celebrations began with free bicycle ‘health’ checks at West Sussex County Council’s recently-completed Pagham Harbour to Medmerry Nature Reserves cycle route on Saturday.

Louise Goldsmith, council leader, and cabinet member for environment, Deborah Urquhart, attended the Dr Bike event, seeing first-hand both Bikeability’s work in the community and the new cycle path.

Louise said: “Bikeability does superb work in the community all-year-round and these ‘Dr Bike’ events are just one aspect: for example, last year the team instructed nearly 10,000 youngsters in how to ride their bicycles safely, and they are on course to exceed that total in 2019.

“During Bike Week, our Bikeability team will be in eight schools across the county, delivering level 1 and 2 tuition to more than 400 trainees.”

On Saturday, Louise went for a ride on the new cycle path, which links Pagham Harbour Nature Reserve and Medmerry Nature Reserve, and gave this reaction: “Saturday’s weather may have been blustery but the scenery was stunning. The new path is a real boon for residents, visitors and wildlife enthusiasts alike.”

The start of the new cycle route is across the road from the RSPB’s Pagham Harbour Local Nature Reserve (PO20 7NE). Thanks go to Southern Water for allowing the council to pitch the Dr Bike gazebo on its land on Saturday.

Other Bike Week (June 8 to 16) celebrations include:

* further Dr Bike sessions, this time for pupils at St Margaret’s School, Angmering and Southwater Primary School, Horsham

* cycle training sessions for Barnham Scout Group

* a Wheels for All training session, for people with disabilities, using specially-adapted bikes

Bike Week is also being promoted as part of the county council’s newly-launched West Sussex Climate Pledge campaign, which is focused on encouraging low carbon journeys across the county during the month of June.

West Sussex Highways has provided a total of 5.8km of cycle path in the 2018-2019 financial year (exceeding the 5.75km target). Maps of routes are at: www.westsussex.gov.uk/leisure-recreation-and-community/walking-horse-riding-and-cycling/cycling-routes-and-maps/