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New 'cycleaid' boxes planned for town

PUBLISHED: 09:00 04 June 2010 | UPDATED: 09:46 01 August 2010

HALESWORTH is wheeling its way to becoming a centre of cycling as the town prepares to implement a tyre-iffic new initiative.

The Halesworth Town Plan Cycling Group has just devised the "Halesworth Wheel," a 20-mile cycle route around the town and surrounding villages taking in the sights, pubs and historic buildings.

HALESWORTH is wheeling its way to becoming a centre of cycling as the town prepares to implement a tyre-iffic new initiative.

The Halesworth Town Plan Cycling Group has just devised the “Halesworth Wheel,” a 20-mile cycle route around the town and surrounding villages taking in the sights, pubs and historic buildings.

And to complement the route, Halesworth in Transition (HinT) will provide “Cycle Aid” boxes along the way to help cyclists with emergency repairs.

The Halesworth Town Plan Cycling Group is in the process of producing a map and a website for the Halesworth Wheel, which will include the box locations. It is also planned that the boxes will appear on Google maps.

They will hold recycled unwanted tools, and they will be placed in pubs, shops, theatres and other public places that have joined the scheme. They will not only be on the Halesworth Wheel route, but will be found in towns such as Snape, Aldeburgh and Leiston, making the whole local area cycle-friendly.

Nat Bocking, who is a member of both groups, said that he got the idea when he was working at Snape Maltings and frequently got asked for help from broken-down cyclists. “It's happened to me when I've been cycling down the A12 at Saxmundham and got a puncture and ended up with a five-mile walk in order to get home or to work,” he said.

“Every cyclist, and many non-cyclists, has spare tools, pumps and bike bits they never use but can't throw away in case it's useful. Now they can put them to a good use for their community. This will really make Halesworth a centre for cycling.”

HinT is holding an event on July 10 from 10am to 1pm where people can bring their unwanted tools and bike bits to Halesworth Thoroughfare for recycling into Cycle Aid boxes.

In the meantime, Mr Bocking is urging organisations to make their own collections, ready to bring to the event on July 10. You can also sign up to the scheme and offer to host a box at www.surveymonkey.com/s/P6GDKQJ.

Participation in the scheme for hosts and users is entirely free, and maintenance of the scheme will be by volunteers. Businesses with the boxes will bear a special logo, and local tourism and economic development initiatives will publicise the boxes.

He said that the Cycle Aid boxes would encourage more people to get on their bikes.

“It's taking away that psychological barrier from cycling,” he explained. “I ask people, why don't you cycle, and they say, what if I break down? I thought, this is it, people want this, people need this, and it's so easy to do. Why hasn't someone thought of this before?”

Mr Bocking said that the Halesworth Town Plan Cycling Group was also looking into creating a cycle route from Halesworth to Southwold that avoids the busiest roads.

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