Councillor wants a cycle friendly Poole

Poole councillor Stephen Rollo-Smith speaks to The Breaker about the need to improve the borough’s infrastructure and safety measures for cycling.

Picture courtesy of Ian Britton via

A Poole councillor is urging his fellow council members to improve provisions for cyclists and bring the borough in line with The Times’ “Cities Fit for Cycling” safety campaign.

Councillor Stephen Rollo-Smith said: “The main problem is that although we have good cycle routes, they don’t connect. There’s no legal way to get over the railway, for example, without getting off your bike and going through an underpass.”

Mr Rollo-Smith has gained support for his plans from Poole’s heads of transportation and cycling, Julian McLaughlin and Sally Funnell. He is now seeking funding from local business projects, as “great cycling provision costs a disproportionate amount of money.”

Speaking of the motivations for improving cycling in the borough, he said: “We’re trying to get schoolchildren back on bikes to combat obesity. Cycling improves a person’s health and vitality, is a cheap mode of transportation and reduces your carbon footprint.”

He added: “Cyclists are entitled to a safe passage through the town.”

Jason Falconer, Bournemouth and Poole officer for Bike It, a project which helps children across the UK cycle safely to school every day, agreed with the need for change:

“Poole’s cycle infrastructure hasn’t changed much in the last five years. The Council as a whole has been fairly behind in its application of best practice guidelines for cycling. There also needs to be a more realistic focus on training people to ride bikes.”

He added: “Poole needs to show that it wants to change things.”

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