Carlton Reid, author of Roads Were Not Built By Cars, has issued an appeal for cyclists in and around Stevenage to take part in a filming session for BBC’s The One Show in the Hertfrodshire town tomorrow afternoon - given the reason for the call they are also partiucarly keen to have plenty of riders who aren't wearing Lycra or hi-viz .
The segment will focus on the story Reid uncovered during his research for the book – funded through a highly successful Kickstarter campaign – on what he has dubbed ‘The Cycle Network That Time Forgot,’ developed by Eric Claxton in the 1950s and 1960s but which is little used today.
Reid will be appearing as the historian who uncovered the story, and cyclists interested in appearing in the segment, which will be hosted by Paralympic wheelchair basketball player Ade Adepitan, are asked to arrive at Grace Way, Martins Way, Stevenage, for 4.30pm.
The period when Claxton developed the network, based on the high levels of cycle usage he had observed on segregated networks in the Netherlands, coincided with the rise of mass car ownership.
On the Roads Were Not Build For Cars website, Reid explains that “to Claxton’s puzzlement, and eventual horror, residents of Stevenage chose to drive, not cycle, even for journeys of two miles or less.”
The infrastructure remains largely intact, albeit much underused, and certainly not at the levels envisaged by the producers of the 1966 promotional film for town planners and developers called The Design of Space, part of which deals with Stevenage’s cycleways and has been uploaded to YouTube by Reid.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.