Taunton Area Cycling Campaign is a voluntary group run by local residents. Formed in October 2016, our aim is safer, better and more cycling in the Taunton Area. We launched with a rally at the Market House in late 2016, initially with around 50 supporters. We have a supporter base of over 500 (December 2017).
We are campaigning on a number of key areas:
- Integration into major new developments such as the Staplegrove Urban Extension, Coal Orchard and Firepool.
- Seeking more investment, in the short term through Somerset County Council’s Small Improvement Scheme programme. However, step change will require sustained planning and investment. We are seeking to work with the local authorities for a major scheme funding bid, in line with Taunton Garden Town aspirations.
- Improving design standards so that road and cycling infrastructure is designed in a way that it more user friendly.
- Promotion and publicity. We were instrumental in getting the Taunton cycling and walking map updated and reprinted for Bike Week this year. We are planning an 11 mile family friendly waymarked trail called the ‘Foxglove’ trail. We have street stalls were we can meet and talk to members of the public.
Traditionally Taunton has had a high level of cycling by UK standards. In the 2011 census nearly 10% of residents cycled to work. Many residents live and work in the Town.
It has a partial cycle network in which money was invested in the past but now it is in need of maintenance, and upgrading. New links need to be provided on key commuter routes to Bishops Lydeard and Wellington.
Innovative sustainable transport based around cycling and walking is important for a town and its surrounding area. People who cycle and walk are healthier, reducing the burden on the NHS.
They are more productive, increasing the power of the local economy, and spend more money in local shopping streets, increasing profits.
We think that, if you cycle in Taunton , you help create a BETTER environment, save time by making QUICKER journeys and you will be FITTER.
You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy a bicycle and that is pretty close.
Our Vision: Making Space for Cycling
To enable everyone to cycle in comfort, we need high quality infrastructure for cycling which connects homes with work places, schools, shops and local amenities.
Providing space for cycling creates efficient and attractive places to live, but infrastructure must be suitable for people new to cycling as well as those who wish to cycle at speed, and it must avoid low quality solutions, such as narrow shared-use paths which mix cycles with pedestrians. Cycle routes must be direct, convenient and quicker than by car if cycling is to grow.
A bike is a vehicle and a cyclist should be able to continue on a road straight through roundabouts and junctions without being forced onto the pavement having to dismount and wait for a break in the traffic.
We believe that to create new high quality cycle infrastructure and review existing cycle facilities best design practice should be followed. Design guidance ‘Manual for Streets 2’ (with reference to London Cycle Design Standards and Making Space for Cycling ) is the best available in the UK and should be used by Somerset County Council (the local authority responsible for transport) for designing road layouts in new developments and on urban roads.