From cycling city to cycling town

As many readers of our blogs will know Bristol is a Cycling City, the only cycling city in fact, as it was the only UK city awarded such status before the Tory and Lib Dem government scrapped ‘Cycling England’ (the initiator of the scheme) after the 2010 election. However, way back in 2005 Lancaster, (of which Morecambe is an extension) was one of the first six places in the country to be granted Cycling Town status and extra funding to invest in cycling infrastructure. From what we’ve seen in our brief visit, it has been money well spent. On arrival at Lancaster station we spotted a sign indicating a cycle route to Morecambe (and many other places). We duly followed and we’re whisked along a fantastic, well maintained, 3 mile, off road route – all the way to the Morecambe sea front promenade. It was clearly a well used route by both cyclist and walkers. The promenade itself is also an excellent cycling route too. Wide and well surfaced it provides miles of flat cycling route all the way around Morecambe Bay and from what we’ve seen, is popular with Lycra clad and leisure cyclist alike. It goes to prove that investment in cycling infrastructure pays dividends in healthier people and more pleasant places (something the Dutch and Danish realised may years ago). Morecambe is of course the start (or finish, depending on the direction you go in) of the Red Rose Cycle Route, which is well signed on the Promenade a stones throw from the Midland Hotel. This is where we shall be later this morning to ceremonially ‘dip our wheels’ in the North Sea (if we can find any sea in the Morecambe bay mud flats) before peddling off to find more cycling villages and towns en-route.

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