Did you know that regular cyclists can be as fit as the average person 10 years younger?
A new campaign launched by Somerset County Council’s Bridgwater Way initiative aims to encourage people to take up cycling or walking more regularly and enjoy the health benefits – both mentally and physically.
Getting out and about by active travel – on bike or foot – has been hugely popular during the last 15 months, with traffic levels dropping by as much as 60 per cent during the lockdowns.
Now, as life returns to ‘normal’ we’re getting a sharp reminder of how busy our roads are. The Bridgwater Way is encouraging people to beat the traffic and find their way around town by active travel instead of using the car.
There’s a website with an interactive route map highlighting the wealth of cycling and walking pathways in and around the town, plus loads of information and ideas on how to get more active as part of your daily routine.
For secretarial manager and busy mum-of-two Tash Sheasby from Wilstock in Bridgwater, getting a bike as a Christmas present 18 months ago was the catalyst which led to more quality time with her children outdoors – and a healthier way of getting about.
She cycles her son Edward to nursery and daughter Elise to primary school three days a week and in their spare time they’ve had many memorable hours exploring the Bridgwater and Taunton Canal towpath, part of the Bridgwater Way route map and National Cycling Network.
“We’re so fortunate to have this on our doorstep,” She said.
“It’s great in the sunshine, but we’ve been out in all weathers, enjoying pointing out the birds and other wildlife we see and just being in the fresh air.
“Work can be stressful and pretty sedentary so this is really valuable family time getting exercise and enjoying each other’s company, and it was even more so during lockdown.”
“And of course stopping for coffee and cake along the way when you’ve clocked up those miles is vital!,” she added.
Carleton Lord, a retired business owner and key member of the Bridgwater Area Cycling Campaign (BACC) is keen to encourage more people in Bridgwater to leave the car at home when getting out and about:
He said: “I’ve been cycling for about 60 years – it’s a great way to unwind and relax, and has so many benefits for the individual, and society as a whole – reducing the load on the NHS, reducing pollution. It’s great for your body and mind.”
Somerset County Council’s Cabinet member for Highways and Transport, Cllr John Woodman said: “We’re committed to investing in cycling and walking infrastructure in Bridgwater and across the county and there is an excellent network of pathways in the town.
“The Bridgwater Way is a great resource to plan your route to school, work, to the shops, or just for pleasure by foot or bike.”
Whatever your ambition when it comes to walking and cycling a bit more, there’s something for everyone on the Bridgwater Way – so come and find your way today!
Find out more at The Bridgwater Way – The Bridgwater Way
Take part in competitions and learn about why getting active on foot or two wheels is so good for you.. Get Active – The Bridgwater Way