New facility aims to help people stay fit on their commute while beating the traffic

A new circular cycle route through the outskirts of Northampton has been opened this week, comprising a 29km, hard-surface loop, almost all of it off-road, which Northamptonshire County Council' says will allow the town’s cycle commuters to beat the traffic while keeping fit. 

The route, known as the Norbital, has been funded from the government’s Community Infrastructure Fund and sees new paths fill in gaps between existing infrastructure, providing a link between residential, retail and industrial areas off the town and also inking into other bike paths. A map of the route can be found here.

Councillor Heather Smith, Northamptonshire County Council Cabinet Member for Highways, Minerals and Waste, commented: "Research shows that many short commutes can be faster on a bicycle than by car because of the volume of traffic and so, for many, this new cycle route will be a very viable alternative to taking the car to work.

"This money has been made available specifically for projects such as this which facilitate sustainable growth and with cycling becoming an increasingly popular mode of transport I believe Norbital will be put to very good use,” she continued.

"As well as environmental benefits, cycling is also a very cheap form of travel and of course there are big health benefits from taking regular exercise too."

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.