Next Monday when theTour of Britain comes through our region we will all have the possibility to see some of the fittest athletes in the world coming through some of the most beautiful countryside in the country. It ought to be a fine spectacle and an exciting day.
We mustn’t think that cycling is just for the super fit though. The health, social and environmental benefits of regular or occasional cycling for all are extraordinary.
In fact, a person who cycles regularly has half the chance of getting cancer or heart disease, takes less days off, is more productive at work and has an improved mental health.
It is one of the most efficient ways of travelling short to medium distances and it also makes sense economically, with an average return of £13 for every £1 invested.
There is often a perception that the roads are dangerous for cyclists and though this isn’t necessarily the case with investment in new cycle routes things can be improved.
It is to be hoped that this new county council administration keeps the promise of the previous group to prioritise cycling and walking investment.
They can do this by continuing to develop the Alnwick to Alnmouth railway route as a cycle and railway track to really connect the town to the coast and the national cycle network. They can also invest in more cycle racks as well as think creatively about other ways of benefitting lower carbon forms of transport.
If they do this, we will soon all be able to experience an enjoyable, safe cycle ride.
Perhaps then we can look forward to being fitter and happier and have an enhanced experience of our beautiful county.