UTTOXETER’S county representative is hoping to revive the days when people used their bikes to get to and from work by installing a new network of cycle paths.
County councillor Geoff Morrison fondly remembers the days when JCB Agricultural’s end-of-work klaxon would signal hundreds of bikes flooding into town.
He has announced ambitious plans to revamp Uttoxeter’s network of cycle routes heading out of town from the west and east.
And Councillor Morrison hopes this will encourage motorists to ditch four wheels for two to keep fit and cut rush hour congestion.
He said: “When we had Bamfords Agricultural, the Bamford Bull – the signal that the working day had ended – used to sound and suddenly the town was full of bikes.
“Not as many people use bikes to travel to work now but I’d like to see a return to those days.”
Staffordshire County Council is likely to approve plans for a new cycle path between the Dove Bank roundabout and Dovefields on Friday.
Work on the path had already started when the government announced plans to redevelop the A50.
The design had to be altered to accommodate work on the dual carriageway but it could be approved at Friday’s countryside and rights of way panel meeting.
And, according to Councillor Geoff Morrison, it is just one of many cycle routes likely to be approved in the coming years.
Paths could be added to rights of way leading out of town from Derby Road and Dovefields Industrial Estate to the east and Dove Bank and Dove Way to the west.
Councillor Morrison said the proposals are part of a drive to encourage workers to ditch their cars.
He said: “Cycle paths should be heading out into the countryside to take people away from cars and into the fresh air.
“There are a lot of people in Uttoxeter who are fanatical about cycling and we need to provide requisite facilities.
“There will be more cycle paths in Uttoxeter in the coming years in conjunction with the project to revamp the A50.
“But, at the minute, there are some areas where you’re taking your life in your hands by using a bike.”