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UK’s hidden cycle routes to get revived

Campaigners in the UK are calling for a huge amount of old disused cycle routes to be reinstated.

Historian and cycling enthusiast Carlton Reid has been combing through images on Google Street View and spotting the routes that may appear as second pavements or depressions by the side of the road.

"Urban planners often say, 'Oh, there's no place for cycling, we can't put these things in.'

"This project says we have got the space, sometimes [the cycle ways] are already there," said Mr Reid.

The routes had been a vivid red when first created between 1934 and 1940, he told the BBC, but the colour had faded over time in many cases.

Mr Reid said the paths were often very wide, allowing cyclists lots of room to use them.

However, they apparently fell out of use after World War Two, when the UK experienced a huge boom in car ownership.

"We will also be working hard on getting the Department for Transport to also provide some national cash," said Mr Reid. A kickstarter crowdfunding campaign has been started by Mr Reid which has accrued more than £10,000 in pledges.

"After all, it can be shown that the Ministry of Transport, its predecessor organisation, was 75 years ahead of its time."

The project has received praise from cycling groups.

"It would be wonderful to see this legacy updated, restored and protected, not only because these cycle ways would be useful in their own right, but also because they would serve as an inspiration for developing a comprehensive cycle network, using the space we already have," said Mark Treasure, who chairs the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain.

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