TACC has taken an important step towards joining up the fragmented network of cycle routes in and around Taunton – Turning the Cycle Network Blue!
In 2017 the Department for Transport published guidance for local authorities to produce local plans for improved cycling and walking infrastructure. To complete this work in Taunton the most important routes needed to be audited and reported on in detail.
TACC volunteers spent lots of their time in the summer months completing 40 of these audits, identifying some excellent routes and infrastructure along with significant gaps where work is urgently needed to make cycling direct, safe and comfortable for everyone.
This work has recently been presented to an officer of Somerset County Council to support their work in improving transport in and around Taunton, and will be submitted to the Department for Transport in late November 2019. There are high hopes that the plan will attract national and local funding.
More than thirty cyclists of all ages met at the bandstand in Vivary Park to celebrate the anniversary of the Foxglove Trail on Saturday 5 October 2019.
The group made its way around the 11 miles of the trail circling Taunton town centre on a mixture of shared paths and dedicated cycle trails, and found time to get to know each other.
Thanks to the ride leaders who helped a varied and large group stay safe and cause as little disruption to other trail users as possible.
There are many people out there who would like to cycle but don’t feel confident to use the road and in their own skills. To help with this, free one to one cycling confidence sessions are available until 27 July 2019. The sessions typical take an hour and are provided by a qualified cycle instructor. They are tailored to the needs of the person taking part.
In Bristol, thousands of people have done these sessions and many now cycle to work, to shops or for other purposes. One person taking part said “I am now fully committed to cycling to work and I have enjoyed every minute so far. Thank you all!”.
Local instructor Nick Warner said “Taunton is a compact town and for many the town centre and work are only a couple of miles away, a perfect cycling distance. The cycling sessions build confidence and road awareness to make local journeys by bike”.
If you would like to take advantage of this, fill out our contact form and we will be able to arrange a time to suit. We advise you to book by 10 July 2019.
The project is being funded by ‘Big Bike Revival’, which is all about overcoming those little barriers and to help people feel more confident about cycling. Information at www.cyclinguk.org/bigbikerevival. This local project is being organised by Taunton Area Cycling Campaign.
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Taunton has massive potential for more cycling and walking journeys as an alternative to short car trips. Fifty percent of trips in Taunton are less than 2 miles. More cycling and walking would help reduce congestion, cut pollution, improve health, give people more reliable journey times, and save them money. It would give freedom and independence to some of the thousands of people who don’t have access to a car, particularly young people and children. An efficient transport system will support the economy.
Somerset County Council tends to favour road schemes when bidding for capital funds for transport. Over £40m has recently been spent or is planned for road schemes. We are asking their the next major scheme is a cycling and walking network project.
Therefore we ask you to support the campaign for new cycle routes and parking in the Taunton Area. Read more about our campaign and please sign our petition at 38degrees.org.uk.
On 29 September we launched the ‘Turn the Network Blue’ campaign – calling on the local authorities to support a bid for £10m so that the cycling network can be transformed in the Taunton area. This is just what our Garden Town needs.
The response to our call to wear something blue was fantastic. Thank you to everyone who came along. It was a strong demonstration of support for better cycling in the Taunton area. We made statements at Taunton Deane BC and Somerset CC on 2 October.
Thanks to people who have contacted us since the event. We really welcome people to become involved in our campaigns.
More photos here >