Wellingborough cyclists gearing up for town's second Critical Mass

Dozens of cyclists took part in the inaugural event and it is hoped more will join the ranks on Friday

Wednesday, 26th August 2020, 9:00 am

Cyclists are set to take to the streets of Wellingborough for the town's second Critical Mass.

Nearly 70 riders of all ages took part in the first Critical Mass event last month and it is hoped that even more will join the next one on Friday (August 28).

One of the organisers Samuel Shoesmith told the Northants Telegraph: "The first Critical Mass was a phenomenal success.

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"There were nearly 70 cyclists and I hope more will attend this time round.

"I think our first ride caught the wave just at the right time.

"A lot of people had bought bicycles or got their old ones out of the garage or shed, and had been riding it during lockdown for exercise, to the shops or just for leisure.

"During lockdown, with hardly any cars on the roads, people felt safe and were being more active.

Wellingborough's first Critical Mass event took place last month

"Sadly, as the months have gone by, more and more cars are on the roads and levels are already what they were pre-COVID-19 and they are rising and it feels dangerous cycling from A to B."

Last month's ride was not only a celebration of cycling, but also to make calls for better cycling provision in Wellingborough.

This is something Samuel feels extremely passionate about and he is keen to see change in the town.

He said: "The county council were given clear instruction that they had to act swiftly and within weeks back in May to allow for social distancing and make radical road reallocation to enable and encourage walking and cycling.

"They did not.

"Only one scheme was rolled out in June - the widening of the pavement in Montagu Street in Kettering.

"It was only on August 5 that Wellingborough got Silver Street pavement widening to allow for social distancing.

"Our town has not received any measures to significantly reallocate road space as per instruction from the government."

And he added: "As well as celebrating cycling and its wonders and allowing people to feel safe riding around in a big group, this will still be a protest.

"The few measures implemented so far are poor.

"The bid for the second tranche of funding which is for £1.4 million does not even mention Wellingborough.

"It is terrible.

"Our borough council also have a part to play in bringing about measures to enable and encourage active travel in the town rated worst in the entire country."

Wellingborough's second Critical Mass will be taking place on Friday (August 28).

Cyclists should meet at 6.30pm outside Castello Lounge and opposite The Hind Hotel with the ride leaving at 7pm.

Anyone taking part must adhere to strict social distancing at all times.

To read more about Wellingborough's first Critical Mass, click here.

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