Bideford has great potential to be a cycling town, with the main centre connected to East-the-Water, Northam, Westward Ho! and Appledore already via a network of paths, quiet roads and main roads, there is plenty of scope to incorporate motorists, cyclists and pedestrians in environments where everyone feels safe using their respective transport mode of choice.
Currently the streets of the town are dominated by motor vehicles, and there are frequently queues and slow moving traffic at busy times on the Long Bridge and the Quay particularly, making it frustrating for those in their cars, as well as unappealing for anyone considering cycling. The current dedicated cycling provision in Bideford is threadbare to say the least, and is most concentrated within and around Victoria Park. As anyone who has been there will know, within the park it is generally pedestrian footpaths which should not really be considered as cycle tracks.
Cycling can become a popular and common choice for day to day transport only when it is an easy and obvious choice allowing people to get where they need to go just as easily as by any other form of transport. For this to happen, the cycling infrastructure needs to form a complete network to allow easy, convenient and safe cycling across the town.
In this respect Bideford has plenty of room for improvement, and that is why a more focused section of the North Devon Cycling Forum has been created to try and bring about improvements to allow residents of Bideford to take advantage of the benefits that can come about from everyday cycling.
The Bideford blog can be found at bidefordcycling.blogspot.co.uk and you can get involved by coming to a Bideford Sustainability Group meeting on the first Tuesday of each month at the Blacksmith Arms in East-the-Water at 7:30pm.