It has been a year since the world™s greatest cyclists and thousands upon thousands of fans descended on Cambridge to create lifelong memories when Stage 3 of the Tour de France came to the city.
In the last 12 months, Councils, organisations and sporting clubs have been working hard to make sure the visit of the world famous race has a lasting impact on the lives of Cambridgeshire residents.
There has been a continued investment in cycling infrastructure to meet the needs of the many residents who wish to cycle for leisure or as part of their commute. This has seen new road layouts being created in Cambridge to protect cyclists, new cycle paths being built and planned “ for example between Sutton to Witchford and the Chisholm trail, plus the creation of a new BMX and scooter track in East Chesterton.
A partnership between Cambridge City Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, British Cycling and Living Sport was launched in the autumn to help people of all ages, abilities and confidence to get out and about on their bike to explore the city and county. A summer programme of Sky Ride Local guided rides is now underway in Cambridge and Wimpole. These free and fun bikes rides range from 5-18 miles and are led by qualified British Cycling bike leaders, all of whom have taken part in the leader training in the past year, thanks to the partnership. For more information on these rides visit: www.goskyride.com/cambridgeshire.
The Cambridge Junior Cycling Club, developed by Living Sport over the last year, now runs from Netherhall School and Milton Country Park, where every week children between 10 - 15 years old meet. Over 80 young people having been involved over the course of the last year and three people supported to become Level 2 qualified to coach.
A number of cycle events have also been organised from Cambridgeshire™s Festival of Cycling to the Big Bike Ride over the weekend. There was also the Tour of Cambridgeshire, where thousands of riders raced on traffic free roads in Huntingdonshire, Fenland and Peterborough .
Cllr Noel Kavanagh “ Cycling Champion at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: "It is amazing to think that this time last year we were witnessing sights and sounds which still make the hairs stand up on the back of my neck even now. Monday 7 July 2014 was a great day for so many people but in a way it was the continuation of a journey which Cambridge and the county has been on for many years. Every year, we see the numbers of people cycling in our area grow “ our responsibility is to help support this through new infrastructure and investment as well as by supporting events such as the Tour of Cambridgeshire. It is heartening to learn that for every £1 we spend there is a £35.50 return on the investment “ by working together we can continue to encourage everyone - no matter their age or skills “ to be able to get on their bike.
Cllr Richard Johnson, Executive Councillor for Communities at Cambridge City Council, said: œHosting the start of the Tour de France last year was a momentous event for Cambridge. We showed the world that cycling was in the DNA of the city as over 100,000 people thronged our streets. As I reflect a year on from that special day, I am reminded of the impact of the race as I see people of all ages and abilities cycle along our roads and streets. To maintain our success, we must continue to inspire people to cycle and remove the barriers which people put forward as reasons not to get on their bike “ whether they are a lack of confidence or the need to feel safer on the roads. This is our challenge and it is something which can ultimately benefit everyone in the city in terms of improving our transport, health and the environment.
In addition the City Council has provided grant funding to groups including You Can Bike Too (who support cycling for disabled people); web-based journey planner Cycle Street; Centre 33 for their young carers™ cycling project; and a grant to Cambridge Cycing Campaign.