British Cycling partner town Plymouth is a great example of a pro-active city council, with a clear aim of encouraging cycling through a range of measures including routes, parking, cycle training and cycle hire. The city’s open spaces and coastal routes, combined with National Cycle Network routes, mean that Plymouth commuters have a range of traffic-free route options to choose from.
For 2012, Plymouth City Council has partnered with British Cycling to get more people cycling more often in Plymouth. On Sunday 13th May, 7000 local people enjoyed closed roads and blue skies while taking part in Sky Ride Plymouth. This is going to be followed up with 25 Sky Ride Local led rides throughout the summer to help local people to explore their city and surrounds and to experience how easy it is to get around by bike.
Cycle route provision
Plymouth stands near the intersection of two National Cycle Network routes – NCN2 and NCN27. The two routes meet at Underwood to the east of the city where NCN2 ends, with NCN27 running around the waterfront from Cattledown to Devonport.
The Plym Valley trail is a fine leisure route, offering 29 kilometres of traffic-free riding from Laira Bridge to Clearbrook.
In 2009, Plymouth Council, CTC, the University of Plymouth, Plymouth Cycle Forum and Velo Club Plymouth came together to develop the Strategic Cycle Network, a network of graded routes; purple routes aimed at experienced cyclists and green routes for the less experienced. The SCN network map can be found here.
Plymouth Council also produces a city map detailing recommended routes, cycle lanes and traffic-free routes. There’s also a great city centre map, further detailing cycle routes and cycling restrictions in the heart of the city.
There are 24 separate parking locations in Plymouth city centre, the majority in the main Armada Way, New George street area, with more parking near the University and the railway station.
Cycling and trains
Plymouth railway station has dedicated cycle parking and commuters can take their bikes on local services for free.
Cogs at Drake’s Circus is Plymouth’s most central bike shop. Certini is at House of Fraser on Royal Parade and Halfords is also centrally located on Cornwall Street. Plymouth’s cycle map has a full list of local bike shops and locations.
Don’t leave home without...
Plymouth Council’s citywide cycle map is a great way of planning your route into town from the outskirts, utilising recommended routes, greenspaces and traffic-free paths.
Plymouth Council’s Cycling Pages – for a wealth of information, maps and advice
Open Cycle Map – Plymouth – detailing routes and cycle shops in the area
Plymouth Cycling Campaign – founded in 2010, "the voice of cyclists in Plymouth"
Go Sky Ride - Plymouth - find out what British Cycling is doing to promote cycling in Plymouth