Tonight’s One Show, the BBC flagship early evening show with a mass audience, is to focus on cycling. It airs at 7pm and is presented by Paralympic medalist Ade Adepitan, a wheelchair basketball player. Adepitan will be shown hand-cranking his wheelchair trike on the cycleways of Stevenage, accompanied by BikeBiz executive editor Carlton Reid. The cycleways of Stevenage were constructed in the 1960s and 1970s and were as good as Dutch cycle infrastructure of the time, with full separation from cars, underpasses beneath roundabouts, and barriers between footpaths and cycleways. The cycleways network was revolutionary for the time and was designed by Eric Claxton, Stevenage’s chief planner.
Claxton, a Bickerton folding bike rider, died in 1993 but he has a starring role in tonight’s programme, thanks to a long and detailed article on the history of Stevenage’s (underused) cycleways on Reid’s blog-of-the-book, roadswerenotbuiltforcars.com.
The One Show’s cycling segment leads in with the Tour de France and talks about the growing popularity of sport cycling in the UK, as well as the growth in everyday cycling.
The programme invited a Stevenage car commuter to travel by two wheels for a week and he’s shown to be surprised how easy cycling can be, given cycle-specific infrastructure. Despite only travelling by car a few miles to work each day, Matt Hawley hadn’t considered cycling before the One Show suggested he give it a go, and he didn’t know about Stevenage’s purpose-built cycle infrastructure.
After the airing of the Stevenage film, Adepitan will be in the One Show studio where discussion will turn to what can be done to get more Brits on bikes. The programme’s researchers have briefed Adepitan on the cycle to work bike buying scheme, TRL’s trials with a Dutch-style cycle-friendly roundabout, and the Welsh Active Travel Bill.
AND HERE’S THE RESULT: