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 has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.