Active travel is a fancy way of saying ‘make your body move while you travel around in your day’… And we love Active Travel in St Albans! Whether you’re walking to school or work down the Nickey Line or the Alban Way, riding your bike to the shops or jogging to work, active travel will reduce congestion on the road, improve air quality, reduce carbon emissions, positively impact nature and improve your mental and physical health too. What’s not to like?
The general advice is to try to walk for journeys under 1 mile, ride a bike for journeys under 3 miles, and avoid single occupancy vehicles for longer journeys. Think about car sharing and public transport if you can… And if you really must drive, you could look into electric vehicles too for your next car purchase… Advice on cycling is below, and you can find first person experiences on greener travel options on our blog…
READ: our blog, “Leave the Car at Home: How to Walk and Cycle More“.
If you are worried about cycling by yourself on the road, you can build your confidence by joining a group ride. British Cycling, in partnership with HSBC, support volunteers to run rides for different ages and levels of riding experience. There are lots of rides of different lengths and speeds: go to letsride.co.uk to see what rides are happening locally and letsride.co.uk/social to find cycling groups.
South Herts CTC also offer groups, including an occasional ‘5 miles to fabulous’ ride running from Morrisons in St Albans, which is a great way to start.
Note: Group bike rides are just returning to normal, post COVID, so capacity may currently be limited.
NEED MAPS AND GUIDES?:
We do have some car free cycle ways in the district, such as between St Albans and Harpenden, Swan Walk between Harpenden and Luton, and the Alban Way which goes to Hatfield. We also have the Nicky Line between Harpenden, Redbourn and Hemel Hempstead, although this is not fully paved. In St Albans there is the green ring, and hopefully we will soon be seeing the route between St Albans and Redbourn.
- See descriptions and maps of each of these routes on the Council’s cycling and walking webpage
- Download the District wide cycle map or request a printed copy from the Council firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sustrans is the national sustainable transport charity, which has developed a network off cycle paths. Go and have a look at what is in the area, or where you are heading on holiday.
- You can do route planning and find routes through apps such as strava, kamoot and map my ride.
BIKE NEED SERVICING? For advice, try the Cycle UK website. They offer:
- online bike maintenance guides
- a video guide to repairing a puncture
- a video guide to roadside bike repairs
Watch this pracical talk on “Basic Bike Maintenance” given during SustFest21 by the Verulam Cycling Club:
If that isn’t enough to get you sorted, take it to one of our great local bikes shops, or use one of the local mobile cycle mechanics who come to you house and sort out your bike (either there or picking it up and taking it away). For example, locally there is CycleTech, Botox Bikes, The Bike Loft in Redbourn, and more.
The Council is currently gauging interest for on-street “bread bin” bike storage through their webpage.
There are some innovative solutions for sale , suitable for people without room for a shed or bike store. Have a look online for space saving bike storage, and consider options like Plant Lock – where you attach the bike to a planter outside your house.
GET INVOVLED: St Albans Cycle Campaign are the local group working to make cycling infrastructure better in our district. STACC campaigns across St Albans and the surrounding area, including Harpenden, Redbourn, London Colney, Wheathampstead & Sandridge in order to:
- encourage cycle usage in the St Albans District
- promote cycling to play a more significant role in a balanced transport system for the St Albans District
- support, assist and influence to local authorities responsible for managing the transport system in the St Albans District.
Their approach is to work co-operatively with key bodies such as the local authorities whilst lobbying for better funding and provision for cyclists with particular regard to cycle paths & routes, lower speed limits & cycle-parking.