The routes which were created in 1934 and 1940 were found by an historian and cycling enthusiast Carlton Reid after scanning for their evidence online.Initially, they were put in place by the Transport ministry. However, many fell after world war two. The campaign to reinstate some of the routes is now underway, courtesy of Mr. Reid.
Mr. Reid said that we often see them in our day to day lives only that we do not recognize the. They tend to be hidden in plain sight.
As part of the campaign, a map showing the routes has been posted online.
Urban planners have always said that they have no space for the cycle ways, however, this project says we have got space. Sometimes, the cycle ways are already there.
Originally the routes had been red when they were created. They faded over time in many cases, Reid told BBC.
Reid added that there are those in Nottingham and Manchester that remain pink up to date.
“The paths were often very wide allowing cyclists lots of room to use” said Reid.
After the world war two, they fell out of use since more people owned personal cars.
Mr. Reid said that he found up to 280 miles of the lost network having spent more than a year researching the routes online.
- Cycling Britain’s routes virtually.
- Is it okay for cycling to be done on pavements?
Mr. Reid and his partners, John Dales an urban planner have started a kick starter campaign to raise funds for the projects.
Within three days, the campaign reached 7,000 Pounds ($9,000). It has now exceeded 10,000 pounds in pledges.
If the project gets enough support, Mr. Dales intends to make recommendations to the relevant authorities so that some of the cycle ways may be reinstated. Mr. Reid added that there are plans to bring the department for transport to provide some national cash. Cycling groups have praised the project to reinstate cycling ways.
The cycle ways would be useful in their own rights. It would be really wonderful to witness the updating of this legacy, restored and protected. The cycle ways would serve as an inspiration for developing a comprehensive cycle network using the space we already have. This was said by Mark Treasure the chair of the cycling Embassy of Great Britain.
Charles Hobbs, owner of the Bikemonger bicycle shop in Dorset, suggested that reinstating the routes would make cycling safer and improve traffic flow. He told the BBC that it was great to see those rights of way being rediscovered. He added that those were lost assets of cycling and cyclists have a right to use.