Suffolk candidates back cycling changes in the county's towns

Cycle route in Ipswich

Council candidates wanted to retain barriers that were used to create new cycle routes around towns like Ipswich. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Council candidates' views on improving cycling facilities across Suffolk are to be used by pressure group Cycling UK to call for  more improvements over the next few years.

A survey was sent to 258 candidates in all the main political parties as well as many independent candidates. The majority supported moves to make cycling more attractive and to try to make cyclists feel safer while out on the roads.

There were only 46 responses - but organiser Tim Regester said that when similar surveys had been carried out in other parts of the country they often had a slow start.

He said: "There was a survey like this in Cambridgeshire a few years ago the first one only got a response from about 10% of the candidates - now everyone fills it in. This is no a bad start - and we shall do this again at future elections."

Most of the candidates who took part in the survey were from the Green and Labour Parties - but there were returns from other parties as well.

All but one of those who took part were broadly in favour of supporting efforts to encourage cycling - saying that such a move would make roads maintenance easier and be good for the environment.

Most of those who took part in the survey felt cycling was good for both physical and mental health - and should provide a boost for local shopping centres if residents could reach them by cycle.

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Mr Regester said:  "The results are interesting, the support for investment in cycling and Active Travel seems to be fairly strong, which will hopefully means, if elected, the supporting candidates will support planning and investment in cycling infrastructure in Suffolk."

And there was overwhelming support to retain the cycling measures and low-traffic neighbourhoods introduced in towns across Suffolk during the early months of the Covid Crisis last year when planters and "wands" were introduced to create cycle routes that were separated from normal traffic.

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