Pedal power beats horse power in dash between Leaminton and Warwick

Traffic, Warwick District
Traffic, Warwick District
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Cycling has come out top as the quickest way to get from town centre Leamington to Warwick town centre in a race between bikes and cars.

The bike came top in a recent Rush Hour Challenge on the three-mile commuter route from Leamington to Warwick.

The 8.15am departure resulted in the cycles taking 16 minutes, while the car- sharing commuters took 27 minutes.

The route was from the Parade to the centre of Warwick, a journey made by thousands of commuters each day.

A recent report revealed that of all the drivers commuting in to Warwick, 52 per cent live within five kilometres (3.1 miles) and that 25 per cent live within just two kilometres (1.24 miles) of their destination in Warwick.

As part of the Rush Hour Challenge, another commuting duo walked from the Parade to Leamington train station, and then walked from Warwick station to the town centre, which took just over half an hour.

One of them said: “It’s only £1.90 for a return ticket from Leamington to Warwick and takes just a couple of minutes. I’m sure we could get this commute to under 30 minutes with a weekly ticket and just being able to walk straight on.”

The Rush Hour Challenge was staged by Warwickshire County Council in a bid to tempt more people out of their cars to use their feet, a bike, bus or train to get to work.

It comes after mounting concern over health-damaging car pollution rates, particularly in hot spots such as High Street-Jury Street and The Butts in Warwick, and the railway bridge junction area in Old Town, Leamington.

While many who oppose the Local Plan because of the thousands of homes planned for around Warwick say there is the potential for thousands of more cars in both towns.

Public health-related road statistics show that 64 per cent of people in Leamington, Warwick and Kenilworth drive a vehicle to work – some only on a two-mile journey – and around 25 per cent of children in the area are driven to school.

Cllr Peter Butlin, Warwickshire County Council’s portfolio holder for transport and planning, said: “The Rush Hour Challenge demonstrated just how quick, easy and cheap it is to travel between Leamington and Warwick by bicycle and public transport, even during rush hour. We hope this encourages people to think about their choice of transport when travelling between and around the two towns.”

In a bid to encourage more bike use, two cycle ways in Warwick were recently completed. One links Cape Road to the back of the town’s railway station and a one-kilometre track was constructed between Woodloes and Saltisford, including a bridge over the Grand Union canal.

The county council has urged people to sign up to Love to Ride in June and commit to cycling for just ten minutes in the month to be in with the chance of winning prizes. Go to https://www.lovetoride.net/

There will be a Pedal-and- Ride event at Leamington Railway Station on platform one, 7.30am-10.30am and 3.30pm-6.30pm today (Friday). It includes free bike servicing, bike registration, D-locks for £20 and light sets for £10.

For cycle journeys go to the new Warwickshire journey planner at http://www.warwickshiretravel.co.uk/jp/