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Cycling in Bedford

Bedford has always been a cycling town and the 2001 census showed that 6% of residents travelled to work by bicycle. Although not up to the levels of Cambridge or Oxford it is nevertheless in the top quarter for cycling in the United Kingdom. This is in some measure due to the town's relatively flat and compact area with all parts including its neighbour Kempston and the suburbs of Biddenham, Bromham, Clapham and Elstow being within a 15-20 minute cycle of the town centre.

The urban cycle network was started in the 1970s and has been continually expanded since that time although there are still many gaps and areas to improve. Significant housing developments, including the regeneration of the town centre which will enhance the cycle network have been approved but the current recession has put completion back by a number of years.

The highways authority since 1 April 2009 is now firmly the responsibility of the Bedford Unitary Authority and the main campaigning group for the area, the Cycling Campaign for North Bedfordshire (CCNB), continues to hold bi-monthly meetings with officers and members as it had done previously with Bedfordshire County Council.

Other areas …

Latest photos of the area

See also a full list of photos in this area.

Railway bridge over the Great Ouse, Bedford Max Headroom: 5' 8"

Great Barford High Street (from the X5 coach service).

Stepped footbridge over the A1

Stepped footbridge over the A1

Two ways of saying that cycling is permitted from 6pm to 9am

Cycle parking at entry to pedestrian zone, Bedford

Motorbikes are also allowed in this bus, taxi & bike lane in Bedford

End of contraflow lane, Bedford

Map panel explaining how this area was once a site of ritual for dealing with the dead.

Advisory cyclists dismount narrow bridge sign.

Very low arch here in central Bedford!

Looks like a new foot and cycle bridge being created over the Ouse in Bedford.

I thought this was a very unusual tree on our cycle ride from Bedford mainline station to the town centre.

Unusual footway markings explaining a pedestrian route between the railway station and Bedford town centre.

Cycle parking at Bedford mainline station.

Although it doesn't look like it I am really pleased to have this pump - it worked very well!

Cycle parking at Bedford mainline station.

Free pump by the cycle parking at Bedford railway station and there's a workstand too.

Cycle parking in front of Bedford mainline station.

There doesn't appear to be any cycle parking at the small stations along the Marston Vale line.

Refurbishment of part NCN 51 through Bedford alongside the River Great Ouse. Short section between the Town Bridge and Prebend street bridges. Includes removal of old trees and tree routes disrupting shared path. realignment of path to fo ... [more]

Riding around the eastern end of Bedford Aerodrome on a CTC Cambridge ride.

Oooh cycle parking at #Bedford #station is coming along nicely. Opening event is next Thursday 14th http://t.co/DlFosG5bEO

Cranfield Road. On this ride from Cambridge to Milton Keynes I seem to have gone into Central Bedfordshire twice. Maybe that's because I went through Bedford and maybe Bedford isn't in Central Bedfordshire?

Pretty cottage Cranfield Road

Cranfield Road

Cranfield Road

Cranfield Road leaving Wootton.

Cranfield Road

Wootton – my route weaved through this estate.

Wootton – my route weaved through this estate.

Wootton – my route weaved through this estate.

Wootton – my route weaved through this estate.

Wootton

Wootton

Fields Road – entering new development area.

Fields Road – this footway becomes shared use at the new development ahead.

Woburn Road and the A421 from the flyover bridge.

Woburn Road from the flyover bridge.

The footway and bridge parapets here are not designed to cycling standards.

The footways alongside the road here are not designed for cycling - but further ahead shared use symbols appear.

The footways alongside the roundabouts are not designed for cycling.

Woburn Road – there's a narrow footway here.

Woburn Road – there's a narrow footway here.

Woburn Road – not actually too busy but the traffic is fast.

Woburn Road – not actually too busy but the traffic is fast.

Woburn Road – not actually too busy but the traffic is fast.

Cycle route parallel to Manor Road

Cycle route parallel to Manor Road the rough surface comes to an end.

One of the worst surfaces I've ridden on for what is supposed to be a cycleway.

One of the worst surfaces I've ridden on for what is supposed to be a cycleway.

Using the old road for the cycle route.

Using the old road for the cycle route.

Using the old road for the cycle route.

Using the old road for the cycle route.

Cycleway makes a welcome detour from the busy roads to go along the old road that was here.

Its hard to believe this is called Orchard Street (as called out by BikeHub's sat nav) – near the Marsh Leys A1 roundabout.

The horror of the Marsh Leys roundabout on the A1. Having to cross dual carriageway slip roads of trunk roads is hell.

The horror of the Marsh Leys roundabout on the A1. But there is a wide pavement cycleway at least.

The horror of the Marsh Leys roundabout on the A1.

The horribly busy Marsh Leys roundabout on the outskirts of Bedford.

Cycleway on the outskirts of Bedford approaching the nightmare of the Marsh Leys roundabout.

Cycleway in a new development on the outskirts of Bedford.

Cycleway in a new development on the outskirts of Bedford.

Cycleway in a new development on the outskirts of Bedford.

New development on the outskirts of Bedford.

Cycleway on the outskirts of Bedford.

Cycleway on the outskirts of Bedford.

Cycleway on the outskirts of Bedford.

Cycleway on the outskirts of Bedford. The NCN 51 turns right here - but a new cycleway has been built straight on.

Cycleway in Kempston, Bedford.

Cycleway in Kempston, Bedford.

Great to see some new covered cycle parking at this school. The remnants of the old horrible concrete slots are visible in the foreground.

Cycleway in Kempston, Bedford.

Cycleway in Kempston, Bedford.

Cycleway in Kempston, Bedford.

Ugh, yet more severe chicanes on a cycleway in Kempston, Bedford.

Cycleway in Kempston, Bedford. Dreadful signage here has been turned around and points in the wrong directions. It was pretty useless before that happened anyway.

Essential route signage through this maze of an estate - but it has already acquired a doomed lilt.

Cycleway in Kempston, Bedford.

Cycle route suddenly on road here, but not very clearly marked.

By mistake I went up this road, missing the cycleway in Kempston, Bedford.

Cycleway in Kempston, Bedford.

A very faded no cycling sign on a cycleway in Kempston, Bedford, and yet another chicane around the corner.

Cycleway in Kempston, Bedford.

Cycleway in Kempston, Bedford.

Confirmatory route number sign on cycleway near Bedford.

Obstructive chicane on cycleway in Kempston, Bedford - but no similar restraint on the motor vehicles which it seems are permitted to drive up the equally narrow path behind the camera. This probably also explains why there is no chicane ... [more]

Cycleway in Kempston, Bedford. Note that approaching the road from this side there is a severe chicane, but that there is no such chicane on the cycleway beyond the crossing. That is probably because that is also used as an access to res ... [more]

Cycleway in Kempston, Bedford.

Cycleway in Kempston, Bedford.

Cycleway in Kempston, Bedford.

Cycleway in Kempston, Bedford.

Cycleway in Kempston, Bedford.

Cycleway in Kempston, Bedford.

Cycleway in Kempston, Bedford.

Cycleway in Kempston, Bedford.

Cycleway in Kempston, Bedford, route sign hidden by foliage.

Cycleway in Kempston, Bedford.

Cycleway in Kempston, Bedford passes in front of a supermarket.

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