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Pushing forward to get more bikes on the streets.

Byline: Tony Henderson Environment Editor tony.henderson@ncjmedia.co.uk

PROPOSALS will be tabled aimed at building on a cycling boom in North Tyneside.

Figures show that the growth in cycling in North Tyneside over the last decade had been the highest in Tyne and Wear, with the number of journeys made by bicycle having increased by 250% between 2004 and 2015.

In journeys made Monday to Friday over the past four years, North Tyneside has seen an increase of 83% from 680,000 in 2010 to 1,250,000 in 2014. Last year, it was agreed to establish a council sub-group to examine North Tyneside's cycling strategy to see what could be done to improve cycling and to maximise investment in cycling in the area.

The group's recommendations will now go to the council's cabinet on Monday.

The cycling study showed that much of the growth in cycle use had been higher during the working week, indicating a strong demand for commuter and general purpose cycling in addition to cycling purely for leisure.

Department for Transport statistics show that North Tyneside had the highest proportion of residents who regularly cycled - at least five times a week - in the North East.

The group felt this reflected the investment in cycling infrastructure and training which had already been made in North Tyneside. Information on the number of cycle journeys was provided through electronic counters located at strategic areas in the borough. The study points out that a third of North Tyneside residents do not have access to a motor vehicle and that regular cycling has many benefits including to health, through increased activity, and the environment through reduced levels of pollution. There are a network of cycle routes in North Tyneside which are based on former waggonways, which in 2000 were converted for leisure purposes, including cycling, walking and horse riding following a successful bid for over PS2m in Government funding.

This transformed more than 30 miles of routes, providing offroad cycling and safe links between areas. In addition to the waggonways there are a number of cycle routes in North Tyneside including three national cycling routes - the Reivers Cycle Route, Hadrian's Cycle Way and North Sea Cycle Route.

CAPTION(S):

A cyclist in action and Cramlington Waggonway at Shiremoor

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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 12, 2015
Words:379
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