Dear Editor

Like most challenges, the current crisis also brings opportunities. The streets around Harrogate and Knaresborough are wonderfully quiet, and walking or cycling for daily exercise and necessary travel feels much safer and more pleasant than ever before, especially with the longer evenings.

I am sure many readers will also have noticed that the air is fresher and more pleasant, and that it’s a wonderful time to explore our surroundings from your own front door (while keeping your distance from others of course).

The quiet roads are also perfect for building confidence cycling on the road, for children and adults. In fact on a recent bike ride to Ripon, I could not help but notice that there were more couples and young families out cycling than there were cars.

Being able to enjoy our own town by foot or bike shouldn’t be something which ends with the current crisis. It should be something that’s part of everyone’s daily life. Reducing our reliance on cars also keeps us fit and healthy – and that will always help keep pressure off the NHS, during Covid-19 and beyond.

With a bit of thought and reflection we can all do something to make sure the ‘normal’ we return to after the end of this crisis is better than the ‘normal’ we left behind a month ago – I for one will be switching the car for the bike whenever possible. 

Yours sincerely

Ian Hallett

Let’s Make Active Travel The New Normal – letter to Harrogate Advertiser, published 23 April 2020

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