Town gears up for Boris bikes - The Stratford Observer
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16th Aug, 2022

Town gears up for Boris bikes

Laura Kearns 22nd Jan, 2017

BORIS bikes could soon be wheeling their way into Stratford.

The town has been featured in two reports looking at ways to improve air quality and ease the flow of traffic in the town.

Both the Stratford Transport Strategy and Warwickshire Air Quality report – which Warwickshire County Council’s cabinet is set to discuss on Tuesday (January 24) – include suggestions to bring so-called Boris bikes to the town.

The bikes – which are named after former mayor and now foreign secretary Boris Johnson – cost £2 to rent in the capital and can be left at various stations.

The transport strategy reads: “Encouraging cycling is not simply a case of providing routes, cyclists also require convenient and secure places to leave their bicycle at their destination. Signage that directs cyclists to primary destinations and provides distance and predicted trip duration gives them confidence and will be particularly helpful to visitors and new cyclists less familiar with the cycle route network and geography of the town.

“The London bike hire scheme has generally been considered a success and this model could be replicated within Stratford to enable visitors and residents who do not have one to make journeys by bicycle.”

Stratford BID director Joseph Baconnet says he is unsure how the bikes would work until a more in-depth look is taken at the proposals.

He told the Observer: “It is all part of a theme encouraging walking and cycling.

“The scheme works in London but Stratford isn’t that big, the town centre is quite small. It is a good aspiration but depends whether it is a benefit. The devil is in the detail.”

The county-wide air quality report was compiled due to low air quality levels – particularly in neighbouring Warwick and Leamington which were named by the World Health Organisation as two of the worst places in the UK for air pollution.

To fund the proposals – which also include promoting car sharing and using trains – officers have submitted a bid to Defra for an £88,000 grant.

Some £30,000 of the money would go towards equipment to implement the recommendations. The rest would pay for a travel plan officer for schools and businesses and a campaign urging people to think twice before jumping in the car.

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