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£4m fund for safer cycling around Bridgwater
7:00am Friday 2nd November 2012 in Somerset
A CYCLIST who has twice been struck by cars has welcomed a £4million project to make riding bikes around Bridgwater safer.
Somerset County Council was awarded the cash for its Moving Bridgwater Forward project from the Department of Transport’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund.
The project, which focuses on improving transport opportunities in south Bridgwater, aims to promote economic growth by allowing easier access to work and education.
At a meeting this week, David Mitchell, county council cycling officer, was due to summarise the council’s policies on road safety and its strategy to improve cycling networks.
He told the Mercury: “We’ll be examining what we would like future strategic networks to look like, with particular focus on areas like the A38/39 corridors.
“We will also be unveiling schemes such as resolving issues surrounding barriers linking cycle paths.”
Cyclists such as Jenny Simmons, who feels cycling in and around the town can be dangerous, have welcomed the news.
She said: “Cycling in Bridg-water for pleasure or commuting is generally a high risk activity unless you are on a national cycling network route.
“I was hit while cycling over Westonzoyland Road railway bridge and I was hit while stationary at red traffic lights at the East Quay/Clink Junction.
“More recently and with great sadness, I have experienced the death of a friend on Bath Road in Bridgwater.”
Jenny said details she collected from the county council revealed there were 17 incidents including four categorised as serious between August 2011 and March 2012.
She added: “Wouldn’t all the sums of money involved be better used in preventing further deaths on Bridgwater’s roads by providing sensible off-road traffic-free routes for cyclists to use?”
Around ten per cent of people in the Bridgwater area are regular cyclists, compared to the national average of just two per cent.”
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