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.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.