BBC Countryfile majors on rural cycling and walking

For those interested in cycling and walking its well worth watching the 29 May (2022) episode of BBC Countryfile ‘Warwickshire Greenways but a lot more is covered in this episode than the title implies:

Here are some highlights:

  • Sustrans latest project is about to open is a new 11 mile long cycle/walking route in Warwickshire along a former railway track is featured first. It’s the latest National Cycle Route to be opened in the UK. It will also benefit horse riders in the way it is constructed.  More about this project can be found by clicking HERE.
  • The BBC team meet up with groups who support and help map a network of walking routes connecting Great Britain called ‘Slow Ways’ – help create – a network of walking routes connecting Great Britain.
  • A major part of the programme investigates the increase in cycling deaths on our rural roads and the dangers faced by cyclists in the countryside. The look at one case of a death of a cyclist caused by a car driver travelling at 55 MPH on a rural road. They say if the driver had been travelling at 40mph the death would not have occurred. They cite the problem of higher speeds on rural roads with the derestricted sign. On average cyclists are 3 time more likely to die of a rural road because collisions often involve higher speeds. They interviewed Dame Sarah Storey DBE, policy advisor of British Cycling, who is calling for rural roads to have much lower speed limits rather than the default speed of 60MPH which applies to most rural roads.
  • The programme also covers cycling investment. The BBC report the Government told them that £2 billion is being invested in cycling but as the BBC reported twice the amount of investment has gone to urban areas as compared to rural areas. When asked what the government is doing about safety on rural roads the BBC were told that they have created a new body called Active Travel England and that they will spend £161 million on new footways, cycle paths and pedestrian crossings outside London.  Sadly, the BBC report that there is no clear idea that this money will go to rural schemes. The BBC also examines the relationship between cyclist and motorists when the meet with the group called More Than a Cyclist who are advocating a better understanding between drivers and cyclists.

The programme also gives us wonderful video footage and information about the great crested newt the water vole, one of the UK’s rarest water mammals So it’s well worth watching.  

In the programme reference is made to the Highway Code. There is a very useful explainer during the piece about rural roads and cycling.

There is also a brief reference to:

The Green Recovery Fund but it’s unclear if there will be further opportunities for grant funding beyond those in 2020 and 2021 and ‘greener roads’ – this may have come from the Campaign for Better Transport visioning proposal or from the Greener Highways proposals

See also the South Downs Network articles and posts:

Improving safety on rural roads – The Missing link Project

Safer walking, horse riding & cycling in the South Downs

Call for lower speed limits in the countryside

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2024 South Downs Network