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Issue:- 28 October 2010

Speke Spokes Scheme Sparks Success

PEOPLE living and working in Speke have been getting on their bikes in increasing numbers.  Latest figures from Cycle Speke – an initiative to encourage cycling in the area – show that 60% more trips have been made on bikes than at the same time last year. This is both within the Speke Estate and the Estuary Commerce Park.  Cycle Speke started in May 2009 and has worked closely since then with local business, schools and community groups.

Councillor Tim Beaumont, assistant cabinet member for environment and climate change and chair of the Liverpool Cycle Forum, said:- “These are very encouraging figures. Cycle Speke is helping people of all ages and abilities to take up cycling and it is clear from the increase in the number of journeys being made by bike that it is making a real impact.”

Recent Cycle Speke initiatives include:-

► A new series of bike rides, aimed at different levels of abilities including novice cyclists (to the Speke Garston Coastal Reserve) children (after-school rides around Speke) and longer bike rides around Speke and the south of Liverpool, such as to Spike Island and Fiddlers Ferry.

► Free cycle and maintenance training sessions. Kim Moore works in the Estuary Commerce Park and took part in a cycle workshop her employer hosted for their employees said:- “I’d never cycled before and was very worried about learning as an adult. The trainer was great, really positive and supportive, encouraging me to have a go – helping me to understand where I was going wrong and giving tips on how to improve. Before the session I thought buying a bike had been a big mistake, but afterwards I felt so much more confident and couldn’t wait to ride it again.”

► As part of Respect Week, Cycle Speke teamed up with Cemex, offering cyclists the opportunity to experience what an HGV driver can see and to find out about where blind spots are and learn about the area of visibility around a large vehicle from the driver’s perspective. Mr. David Harrop, a teacher at St Christopher’s Catholic Primary said:- “Hopefully the event will make the children aware how dangerous it is to pass particularly large vehicles on the inside. The children were really impressed when they went into the cab of the vehicle and saw the restricted area of visibility around the vehicle and the potential blind spot for themselves.”

These are in addition to other projects initiated by Cycle Speke such as:-

► Cycle parking installed outside shops in the estate to make it easier to get around by bike

► Bike shelters at three primary schools to make parents feel more comfortable with their children bringing their bikes into school

► Dr. Bike sessions at public events

► Cycling Sundays - regular bike rides on the first Sunday of every month in and around Speke.

Cycle Speke is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Further information on rides and free training is available online or by calling Claudia Stuerck on:- 0151 2335246.

North Westerners believe London 2012 hopefuls offer best chance of bringing sporting glory to British shores

NEW research from Thomas Cook, Official Provider of short breaks to the London 2012 Games, has revealed North Westerners to be quietly confident of our athletes chances at The Games, with 22% believing London 2012 hopefuls offer the best chance of bringing sporting glory to Britain compared with other national sports such as football or cricket.

As the only place on the High Street to guarantee UK residents a place at the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, Thomas Cook conducted the research to gain an insight into consumers’ hopes for London 2012.  And the survey revealed that sporting loyalty is alive and kicking in the North West with 60% pledging their support for home-grown British athletes. When it comes to sporting rivalry, USA (35%) tops Germany (9%) as the team North Westerners would most like to beat, with over two thirds saying they’d prefer our London 2012 hopefuls to beat the Americans more than any other sporting nation.

The athletes North Westerners are most looking forward to seeing? Cycling champion Chris Hoy (29%) and swimming sensation Rebecca Adlington (28%) are top of the wish list with Tom Daley (23%), Victoria Pendleton (21%), and Jessica Ennis (19%) hot on their heels.

Although the majority of people in the North West are happy to let former British Olympian greats hang up their running shoes, the athlete most would like to see come out of retirement to compete in London 2012 is Daley Thompson (8%), followed by Dame Kelly Holmes (7%) and Sir Steve Redgrave (6%).

With almost two years to go still, enthusiasm for attending the Games is strong, with 15% of North Westerners already saying they want to attend one or more live London 2012 events. People under 25 (38%) and those living in the South East (43%) London (35%) and East of England (35%) are the most likely to attend at this stage, with the Welsh (10%) currently the most reluctant to commit.

Stephen Vaughan, Managing Director, Thomas Cook, London 2012 Partnership, said:- “It’s encouraging to see that with just under two years to go so many people in the North West have high hopes for our London 2012 hopefuls.  We may not be able to promise Team GB will top the US in the medals table, but we will promise to help make London 2012 accessible to everyone by providing packages to suit all budgets.”

Fatal RTC In Kirkdale

MERSEYSIDE Police have confirm they are investigating a fatal RTC that occurred in Kirkdale in the early hours of Saturday, 23 October 2010, in which a man died. An area around Stanley Road has been cordoned off to allow traffic collision investigators to examine the scene. Motorists are advised to avoid the area. A 19 year old man was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. The matter has been referred to the Independent Police Complaint Commission and it would be inappropriate to comment any further at this time. Anyone who may have witnessed this incident or anyone with information is asked to contact Merseyside Police on:- 0151 777 5771 or you can call:- 0151 709 6010.

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