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Otley cycling strategy is given the go-ahead
A strategy to put cycling “at the heart” of Otley’s community has been approved by the Town Council.
Councillors, and local cycling organisation Otley Sportive, hope the Do You Ride? initiative will provide a fitting legacy for the London 2012 Olympics and Tour de France 2014.
The scheme, which received the unanimous backing of town councillors at a meeting this week, aims to ensure that:
* Everyone who wishes to cycle in the town can do so
* Cyclists feel safe in Otley and have places to securely store their bikes
* Promote cycling as a form of sustainable transport and healthy recreational activity and Otley as a good destination.
The community cycling strategy also includes a commitment to reducing traffic through the town, and to look at creating more cycling facilities.
Chairman of Otley Town Council’s Environment and Sustainability committee, Councillor Kevin Cooney (Lab, West Chevin), said: “I wholeheartedly commend Luke Minshall and his Otley Sportive colleagues for the hard work, commitment and enthusiasm they have displayed in putting together this far-reaching cycling strategy for Otley.
“It won the unanimous support of town councillors at our meeting and we will support it in every way we can.”
Do You Ride? doesn’t just focus on road cycling, but also includes the promotion of other popular disciplines including BMX and mountain biking.
Council leader Councillor John Eveleigh (Lab, Ashfield) said: “Pulling together this strategy has been an amazing collaborative effort from across the cycling community and wider, and I’m pleased the council has adopted it.
“Now the hard work begins and, although the strategy has some far-reaching and ambitious aspirations, if we all work together we can achieve them.”
Otley Sportive organiser Mr Minshall added: “There has never been such an amazing, exciting time to really put cycling at the heart of the community. We have an opportunity to ensure there is a legacy from the Olympics and from the Tour de France. This really maps out our approach to get it right and to really involve the community, and reap the benefits cycling can bring to a town and its economy.”
Otley was hailed in Parliament by MP Greg Mulholland (Lib Dem, Leeds North West) last year as a “national centre for cycling” following the success of Olympic silver medallist Lizzie Armitstead, the annual Cycle Races, Otley Cycling Festival, and Otley Sportive, which consists of several fun races aimed at differing abilities.
The full Do You Ride? strategy document can be read at otleysportive.co.uk