Published: 3 May 2012
Guide: British Cycling
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A great riverside cycle route, flat terrain, an impressive track record in boosting cycling and further funding secured for the medium term, former 'Cycling Town' Shrewsbury hopes to build upon its already impressive achievements.
Back in 2008, the Shropshire town of Shrewsbury was one of the second tranche of English towns and cities to gain ‘cycling town’ status.The funding, which lasted until 2011, gave birth to ‘Cycle Shrewsbury’, which aimed to promote cycling through a range of measures including improvements to the cycle network, more cycle training and programmes to help more people to cycle to schools and workplaces.
The Cycle Shrewsbury project resulted in a 9 percent increase in cycle journeys over the 2009-2011 and it is hoped that the town’s subsequent £4.99 million award from the Local Sustainability Transport Fund will allow Cycle Shrewsbury to build on this impressive growth.
Cycle Route Provision
Getting children riding to school is a big part of the Cycle Shrewsbury plan, so we spoke to Steve Morris, Deputy Head of Shrewsbury’s Mount Pleasant Primary School, who was keen to point out how the town’s topography lends itself to commuting by bike: "Shrewsbury is criss-crossed by the river Severn and lots of railway lines, with a limited number of crossings for cars, but on a bike you can often use a quicker and more direct route. Plus we have some beautiful riverside traffic-free stretches through the town centre, and it's quite small so no journey in town takes more than about 30 minutes."
National Cycle Route(NCN) 81 enters the town from the west, crosses the River Severn on the Porthill Footbridge and follows the riverside around the southern edge of the town centre. NCN81 continues to follow the path of the river north-east out of the town, passing through the Castlefields, Ditherington and Sundorne areas. NCN44 also passes close to the town, joining NCN81 at Copthorne.
Shrewsbury’s walking and cycling map identifies further routes and other cycling amenities.
Cycle Shrewsbury’s has resulted in approx 350 new cycle parking spaces at workplaces; plus many more at shops, GP surgeries and community centres. Shrewsbury’s Cycle Map details the town’s cycle parking.
Cycling and Trains
Shrewsbury station has partially sheltered cycle parking, located on Platform 7. If you’re taking your bike on the train, check with your train operator for their cycle policy.
For a small town, Shrewsbury is awash with bike shops, testimony to Shropshire’s pre-eminence as a cycling county. Dave Mellor Cycles, Stan Jones Cycles, Shrewsbury Cycles and Hawk Cycles represent the independent bike shops, while Halfords is on Meole Brace Retail Park to the south of the town.
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