The Provision of Cycle Trails

Today Tracey led a debate on the provision of cycle trails in Westminster Hall. Tracey was first inspired to hold this debate by a young constituent in Chatham and Aylesford, who previously wrote to Tracey with what seemed like a simple request at first – to help improve local mountain bike trails, in particular the Capstone Trails, which he said could use new features or lines such as areas with jumps, berms and drops, to make these trails more exciting and in turn encourage more local cycling.

As a keen cyclist herself, Tracey jumped at the opportunity to test out these trails with a few other cycling enthusiasts. While the three enjoyed cycling on the trail before heading out into the wider Medway towns, Tracey, who has little experience mountain biking, did feel that he made a fair point given that she completed the ride with relative ease on a gravel bike rather than a mountain bike. This prompted Tracey to investigate further into the availability of cycle trails and paths in the Medway local authority, which did not provide enough variation to allow people to advance their cycling skills further to make use of the other trails further away.

This whole experience led Tracey to hold this debate, where she raised several points with the Minister including: the need to level-up our cycle trails and paths, the impact this would have on physical and mental health, the dangers of riding on unsafe roads and the how better provision could reduce the anti-social behaviour we have seen in some of our local communities. 

Tracey also raised the ongoing issue of funding for the Aylesford to Maidstone Towpath.  The towpath was much loved and well used before a small section crumbled into the River Medway in 2020 and is something many residents over several years have raised. Tracey is pleased to say that after a long campaign of letter writing and ear bending, the Minister confirmed during the debate today that he has approved the Active Travel Fund’s recommendations for allocating funding for the scheme.  Further details will be announced in due course.