South Hams gets the Big Green cycling message
SOUTH Hams District Council staff have been getting the lowdown on sprockets and clangers – even an electric bike - in a bid to woo them out of their cars.
Scores of interested staff picked up some very useful tips from the Cycling Walking and Works staff and the Travel Devon Roadshow Team at the Big Green Event at their Follaton House offices in Totnes.
Well known local Dr Bike, Ben Brangwyn, was on hand to give a free maintenance check for all those who brought their cycles along.
The Travel Devon Roadshow Team were offering advice on public transport and car share schemes, as well as access to cycle confidence sessions with instructor John Alton.
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On building confidence John said: “You were probably taught to keep into the side of the road, but today’s training encourages you to move out in front of the vehicles and claim your space in the road – you need to be seen to position yourself much more in front of the vehicles.”
One of those trying out a leading make of folding cycle, which had been set up as a static test bike, was Ruth Parffrey, Housing Options Officer. A keen leisure cyclist she had considered riding her bike to work from Preston but having to deliver her daughter, aged eight, to school made it rather too complicated.
“I ride a bike, but I would not ride it to work,” she said. “I would be a bit difficult for me.”
Keith Rennells, Greenspace Projects Officer, took the opportunity to get Dr Bike to overhaul his old racing bike. He said: “He was really thorough. Good maintenance is a key to safe cycling. My bike needed some TLC!”
Hannah Colston of the Totnes Cycling Walking and Works project, which is funded by the Devon Local Sustainable Transport Fund, said: “What is interesting is that people are not always aware of their green travel options, but we are starting to get a lot of invitations to take this roadshow out to their communities so that they can discover what it means for themselves”.
On the national Cycle Work scheme she added: “Depending on your employer support may be available now to buy a bike at reduced rate, but that does not mean you just have to ride to work. You can use it just for your own leisure purposes too."
If you would like to find out about the free one to one confidence sessions, led bike rides or are keen for the roadshow to call at your town or village or be part of your local events calendar call Hannah on 01803 861406 or email firstname.lastname@example.org For more information about Totnes Cycling and Walking Works visit www.southhams.gov.uk/cyclingandwalking