As the weather improves and people begin to get out and about more, walkers and cyclists are being reminded to stay safe on their travels.
There are hundreds of miles of shared use paths stretching through County Durham’s beautiful countryside and stunning coastal landscapes and, in the run up to summer, Durham County Council is urging cyclists and pedestrians to be mindful of each other when using them.
By following some simple tips, cyclists and walkers can both enjoy the county’s shared spaces.
Cyclists are being encouraged to:
• Give way to pedestrians.
• Keep left and allow people to pass.
• Slow down when overtaking.
• Not use shared spaces for achieving high speeds.
• Take extra care when approaching children, horses and dogs.
Walkers are also advised to stay safe by:
• Keeping to the left and staying alert, especially on inclines and round bends.
• Keeping dogs on a short lead and under control.
• Trying not to wander across the path.
• Leaving space for cyclists and runners to overtake.
Dave Wafer, Durham County Council’s strategic traffic manager, said: “County Durham is full of fantastic routes for cycling and walking.
“We are also hosting two major cycling events this summer, with the Tour Series having raced into Durham City this month and the Velo closed road cycle race set to take place in September, which I’m sure will inspire people to get out on their bike.
“But, whilst we want more people to enjoy all the great benefits of cycling and walking, from getting in shape to saving money, we also want to ensure that they are safe, enjoyable modes of transport for everyone.
“Walkers, wheelchair users and cyclists are all encouraged to use our shared use routes, and horse riders are also welcome on our railway paths, so people need to take extra care when there are other users around and be aware of their needs. In particular, it is important that cyclists slow down and alert walkers when they are approaching, and to give them plenty of space when overtaking.”
Further information about where to cycle, details of cycling groups and clubs, and tips on how to stay safe is available at www.durham.gov.uk/cycling
Details of the county’s walking routes, including maps for its network of attractive countryside railway paths, can be found at www.durham.gov.uk/countryside