Last year, Councillor John Shephard was appointed Bassetlaw District Council’s (BDC) Cycling Champion.
The Cycling Champion works to promote cycling for all age groups across the district – working with councils / councillors (BDC, parishes and Notts County Council) and partners, such as Sustrans (the sustainable travel charity), to help raise public awareness of cycling and develop opportunities to put cycling at the heart of the planning and design of the district’s communities – to create a healthier Bassetlaw for all.
John said: “I want families to be able to ride to parks, shops and school on safe and enjoyable routes. If we can get people to sometimes leave the car at home and walk or cycle, the result will be safer and quieter streets, cleaner air and a healthier population. There’s also the leisure / visitor economy – making Bassetlaw an attractive place for visitors, who want to cycle here, will create jobs.”
The council’s Local Plan process also aims to enable more safe cycling / walking routes (Active Travel solutions) and John has had several meetings with BDC planners and Sustrans to plan cycle / walking routes linking Bassetlaw Local Plan development sites to town centres and employment sites – including routes in Worksop town centre.
The role is unpaid and follows BDC’s 2020 Scrutiny Review into Cycling in Bassetlaw. The Cycling Champion has been working with councillors of all parties to develop routes in their areas – and he’s keen to talk to members of the public, cyclist groups and employers to help create safe cycling routes in all our communities.
John runs a Facebook Group – Bassetlaw Friends of Cycling – to publicise / organise activities, including led rides and cycle route maintenance activities. They carried out a litter pick of the National Cycle Route 6 in Worksop, on 25th March, which was organised by a local Sustrans volunteer, supported by John and other volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering with Sustrans, contact them through www.sustrans.org.uk.
John’s Cycle Champion Facebook page publicises all things relevant to local cycling and his role. He is also working with Bassetlaw District Council to develop cycling pages on the BDC website. To contact him you can email email@example.com.