Cycling in University Towns!

Traditional University towns have an image of students riding their bikes to lectures, carrying piles of books and wearing a long black flowing gown BUT what is the reality and, more importantly, are these towns are the forefront of the cycling revolution. This summer I visited some of the most prestigious University towns to see what progress they were making and of course Cycle4Africa will write and place pressure on these towns to produce cycle lanes that will protect the cyclist. In Oxford there are a number of pressure groups getting together to promote cycling – great. I visited one of their pop-up-shops and all the plans appeared to be in good order. I was a little concerned that the focus appeared to be on North Oxford, the posh bit, where nice cycle routes I am sure would appeal and push up the already inflated property prices BUT things are moving forward. I love Durham City – its Cathedral is the best in the world – but on my inspection I could not see much progress with regards cycle routes. Durham City must be difficult for planners with steep hills, narrow roads and overly congested main artery routes. Edinburgh came top. Already the new cycle lanes were popping up all over the city. Many of the wide roads were being altered and in this fine city one can imagine that tram and cycle will ride well together. Finally, I went to the little University town of St Andrews and what gave me great hope is that, at last, planners are coming together to create a cycle route around the East Neuk. What a tourist possibility! To cycle from St Andrews to the many pretty fishing villages grabbing a coffee in Crail and fish & chips in Anstruther – wow! KEEP GOING UNIVERSITY TOWNS – IMPROVE YOUR GRADES!!

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