Devizes cycle fans raise the bar

This Is Wiltshire: Cyclists of all ages line up to take part in one of the races during Saturday’s Cycle Devizes! extravaganza Cyclists of all ages line up to take part in one of the races during Saturday’s Cycle Devizes! extravaganza

A group dedicated to cutting down traffic congestion and air pollution in the centre of Devizes showed local people the greener way to go in a major public event in the town on Saturday.

The Cycle Devizes group, an offshoot of the Devizes Community Area Partnership, organised the event to encourage more people to leave their cars at home and take to two wheels to get to work, school and the shops.

Claire Perry MP, Mayor Kelvin Nash and Wiltshire councillor Laura Mayes were among the VIPs attending. Director of public health, Maggie Rae, put her effort where her mouth is by joining the 35 cyclists who blazed the proposed new cycle trail through the town.

More than 60 joined a guided cycle ride through Pewsey Vale and there were tests of scooter skills for younger age groups.

Margaret Nightingale, Bikeability Officer and Cycle Devizes! coordinator, said: “I think the day proved that there are plenty of Devizes adults and children who can and do enjoy cycling. “Let’s keep that number growing, which it will with the help of more safe paths and quiet roads for everyday trips.”

The graffiti board for people to have their say revealed 29 positive views about cycling and 75 negative views. Traffic and cycle parking topped the list.

Kate Freeman, chairman of the transport group of Devizes Community Area Partnership (DCAP), said: “The day was to celebrate those who are prepared to cycle now.

“It also demonstrated the huge potential to cycle across a town that’s pretty flat. “But if I had to take one message from Cycle Devizes! it is that everyone needs to think bike, particularly motorists. “Of course, cyclists need to cycle sensibly but motorists, including bus and lorry drivers, need to be more aware of those using the roads around them and drive with greater consideration too.”

Councillor Laura Mayes said: “The cycling event today was fantastic. Well done to everyone “Now let’s hope that more people will consider cycling into town and leaving their cars at home. “Let’s campaign to get bike racks in the Market Place to make it even easier.”

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