City cycle ride from centre to seafront highlights need for safe routes for children and adults to get on their bikes

YOUNG cyclists put the pedal to the metal in a city bike ride as part of a campaign for safe cycle spaces.

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The new Kidical Mass Portsmouth group led a short, family-friendly cycle from the city centre to the seafront on Sunday, September 25.

A group of 40 children and adults set off from Victoria Park at 11am, with children on bike seats, in trailers, and riding their own bicycles.

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The cycle ride was for all ages and abilities with the aim of enjoying cycling and having fun.

The cyclists take to the city's roads. The cyclists take to the city's roads.
The cyclists take to the city's roads.

Along with marshals to help families navigate traffic, the group cycled through Queens Street, St James Street, St Georges Square, High Street and Clarence Esplanade, finishing at Southsea Common.

The ride was part of an international Kidical Mass weekend, with more than 200 cities in 15 countries taking part.

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Agata Blazevic, from Kidical Mass Portsmouth, said: ‘Our city desperately needs better cycling infrastructure, a network of safe, segregated, connected and direct cycle paths that a five-year-old and a 99-year-old could cycle on.

Cycling outside The D-Day Story. Cycling outside The D-Day Story.
Cycling outside The D-Day Story.
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‘Currently, many residents, including families and children do not feel safe cycling on our roads, so they opt for driving short distances creating more road danger.

‘By riding together as Kidical Mass this Sunday we wanted to highlight that people of all ages and abilities want to cycle in our city and need safe spaces to do so.’

Kidical Mass rides highlight the need for routes that enable children to walk, scoot, and cycle in their neighbourhoods.

Claire Coulter, Kidical Mass participant, said: ‘I cycle everywhere, it is my primary mode of transport.

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‘And although there are bike lanes they are often single dotted lanes that people park in, half on the pavement or entirely blocking the cycle lane.

‘So I can’t win, I cannot cycle with my children on the pavement because there is no space for them there and I cannot cycle on the road as I am pulling into traffic with my kids. It feels really unsafe.’

Adam, aged seven, who also took part in Kidical Mass, said: ‘I would like to cycle to school and everywhere I want in our city. It is good for me; I get exercise when I pedal. It is fun. But I am scared. There are just too many cars.’

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