RICHMOND and Catterick Garrison could join nearby Darlington as official “cycling demonstration towns”, if a bid by Richmondshire District Council is successful.
The local authority has applied to Cycling England – the national body which coordinates the development of cycling across the country – for official status for the two towns.
If successful, the bid could unlock thousands of pounds in grants, funding an ambitious plan to create a “green hub” for access to sustainable tourism in the Yorkshire Dales, as well as linking up to National Cycle Network routes.
Darlington is already one of six existing cycling demonstration towns, and Cycling England is now looking to create ten more, as well as one cycling city. The successful bids will get a share of £47m in funding.
The joint Richmond and Catterick Garrison bid is being led by Richmondshire District Council, with the support of North Yorkshire County Council.
As part of the bidding process, the Council was asked to highlight current local initiatives to support cycling. The bid includes details of the Catterick Garrison Cycle Network, created by the Ministry of Defence as a Millennium Project, as well as the successful Bridge The Gap campaign at Brompton on Swale, part of a national scheme by Sustrans. Also mentioned are local schools’ travel plans and the success of the Big Bike Day.
Councillor Jane Branch, the Council’s Member Champion for Healthy Lives and Recreation, said: “Our bid to Cycling England is a fantastic opportunity to draw together all the hard work the Council and partner organisations do to support cycling in Richmondshire.
“Demonstration town status would be a catalyst to increase cycling numbers, not just in Richmond and Catterick Garrison, but across the whole district.”