A CITY centre fun ride, improved cycle routes and promoting cycling to work are in a new plan designed to capitalise on Yorkshire’s hosting of the Tour de France next year.
Wakefield Council has developed a series of proposals to capitalise on the increased interest in cycling July’s Grand Depart is expected to generate in the area.
Work is already under way on holding a city centre fun ride in Wakefield and discussions have been held with cycling governing body British Cycling over hosting a semi-professional race in Pontefract, possibly as early as next year.
Other events on the table include a mass participation ride to encourage more women and girls onto their bikes and a ‘Bike-Fest’ for schools.
The council is also considering improvements to make it easier for people to use their cycles in the district.
New BMX and mountain bike trails, cycle facilities at train and bus stations and better parking areas for bikes will be looked at.
Training will be offered to adults who have not cycled for a while and campaigns aimed at all road users will be launched to improve safety.
The council will look to fill in gaps in the current cycle network and include bike-friendly measures when roads are resurfaced.
Councillors are due to discuss Wakefield’s Tour de France legacy strategy next week.
Wakefield is also working with councils across Yorkshire on region-wide plans to capitalise on the Tour de France.
While the event itself is expected to give a significant boost to the economy, councils in the region also see it as a once-in-a -generation opportunity to raise the profile of cycling that could have long-term benefits.
Encouraging more people to ride bikes regularly could significantly improve fitness levels and reduce congestion on the roads.