Chilterns Cycleway due to be promoted by CTC
Chilterns Cycleway due to be promoted by CTC

CTC wins bid to increase cycle commuting and cycle tourism in the Chilterns

The Department for Transport has awarded a grant of £868,000 from its Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) for a three year project to increase car-free tourist travel from gateway towns in the Chilterns, linking with the Chilterns Cycleway.

Gateway towns include Twyford, (Wokingham) Henley on Thames (Oxfordshire), Great Missenden, Chesham, Amersham (Buckinghamshire), Tring, and Berkhamsted (Hertfordshire). Within these areas there will be investment in improved cycle links, better signage on cycling routes, more cycle parking and provision of bike hire facilities at railway stations and major attractions and a variety of accommodation providers.

The bid was submitted by Wokingham Borough Council on behalf of a range of partners including the Chilterns Conservation Board, Chilterns Society and CTC. Other partners include the National Trust, local rail companies, local authorities, Parish Councils, the Electric Bike Company and local tourism and business partnerships.

We are very excited about this opportunity and look forward to building on the success of the Chilterns Cycleway and maximising opportunities for cycle tourism in the Chilterns. We want to encourage more visitors by bike, as well as increasing the use of bicycles while visitors are on holiday. We also want to support local residents to cycle for leisure and commuting. Better access to bike hire and good cycle routes will lay some foundations for increasing bicycle use, but our previous experience tells us you can’t change a culture without some softer measures. Extensive behavioural change work will be done with local employers and communities to increase commuting by bike, and there will be a range of opportunities for tourism businesses to develop their cycling facilities.

Local Cycling Development Officer, Anna Cipullo, says: “This is a fantastic opportunity to really shape cycling in what could be the nation’s holiday cycling hub. It’s also exciting to think that this project will revisit our CTC Cyclists Welcome campaign and set a good example for tourist areas and accommodation across the nation.” Cyclists Welcome was a campaign started to ensure establishments are cyclist-friendly, many of them recommended by CTC members. Cyclists Welcome will map out shops, food outlets and accommodation in the Chilterns, as well as put pressure on them to become cycle friendly.

Please look out for updates on new developments in the coming weeks and months.