THE Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, has said that encouraging people to commute by bicycle would be a key part of proposals to avoid overcrowding to help reduce the spread of coronavirus as lockdown is lifted.

In towns such as Taunton, this will require the development of a network of routes which will need to include well-designed cycle lanes and community routes, allowing pedestrians and cyclists to travel safely.

Taunton has already identified and researched a safe network of such routes and all that is required is central government funding and active support by local councils to construct these routes.

The rapid increase in cycling for exercise during lockdown is proof of latent demand for safe cycle routes.

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Young families with children aged three and over are taking advantage of the quiet streets and older riders have discovered their bikes which had been hidden in sheds and garages.

Preventing conflict between different types of users requires good design which enhances public space.

Not only can cycling help to reduce transmission of Covid-19 but it can also lessen the impact of climate change.