It was good to see that West Berkshire has the highest rates for walking and cycling across the whole county. Yes, the highest! According to figures published by the Department of Transport, over 85% of us cycle or walk at least once a month and around 40% do this at least five times per week. Which, of course, should not be surprising given the access we have in this area to green spaces and the amount of work that is being done to make walking and cycling safer and easier.
The Council is investing in paths and cycle ways, in particular the project to improve the cycle and pedestrian route between Newbury and Calcot which is being funded with a grant of over £1 million from the Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership. Phase One between Newbury and Thatcham started earlier this year. You might have seen (or used) the new cycle path on Benham Hill for example which has one of the highest numbers of cyclists at peak times and is now wider and safer for both cyclists and pedestrians. A win-win on all fronts with benefits for all of us in terms of more exercise/better health and less pollution/better environment.