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The COVID-19 crisis has seen more and more people around the world dusting off their bikes and enjoy cycling as a safe and healthy way of getting around. Guildford is no exception.
Cycling is back on the agenda. Taking more journeys by bike improves our health and well-being, is good for local businesses, reduces toxic air pollution and helps tackle the climate crisis.
As we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis, there is a risk that we will see a return of the heavy traffic, polluted air and dangerous roads that we are used to in Guildford. This is a moment of huge opportunity.
Even before Covid-19, there has been growing investment to encourage cycling. In Guildford, several major projects are under way, including the Sustainable Movement Corridor, the Town Centre Transport Package and a report commissioned by Guildford Borough Council has proposed a more comprehensive Borough cycle network. The Council has also supported the establishment of a Guildford Godalming Greenway, proposed jointly by G-BUG and Godalming Cycle Campaign.
As a result of the Covid crisis, more forward looking towns and cities across the UK are building protected cycle lanes and establishing low traffic neighbourhoods. The Government is providing support and funding for local authorities to reallocate road space for cycling and walking. £6.4m has been earmarked for Surrey, including two major projects for Guildford, as part of the second round of the Government’s Emergency Active Travel Fund, and there is further funding in prospect.
It is important that in all these projects, Guildford cyclists are consulted to ensure that the funding is well invested.
G-BUG is an inclusive and welcoming group working to make cycling in Guildford safer, more convenient and enjoyable. We are doing this by working closely with local authorities, businesses and the wider community. There are some positive signs of change in Guildford but there is a huge amount of work to do and we need your help!
First, please encourage others to join our group by asking them to provide their email address at our website www.g-bug.org/join. This allows us to increase our reach and mobilise more supporters for our campaign to improve cycling in our town, which in turn amplifies our authority with key decision makers.
Second, to take a more active role in G-BUG you could join our Committee. You will have a chance to use your own experience of cycling in Guildford to improve the implementation of existing schemes, and to initiate new schemes. We would particularly welcome anyone able to represent particular interests such as schools and businesses, and anyone with experience leading cycle rides. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
If you think this email might be of interest to someone you know, please do send it on.
The G-Bug Team