Campaigners make progress on proposed Kenilworth to Leamington cycle path (K2L)

Left to right Rodney King, Ben Lockwood, Alex Jones, Marie O'Riley, Tony Lewenz who made a presentation to the Warwickshire County Council
Left to right Rodney King, Ben Lockwood, Alex Jones, Marie O'Riley, Tony Lewenz who made a presentation to the Warwickshire County Council

Campaigners for the Kenilworth to Leamington cycle path (K2L) recently presented their case to members of the Warwickshire County Council.

Alex Jones spoke about a petition, she helped organise, to the county council on behalf of three local cycling groups Cycleways, Kenilworth Cycle Group and university Bicycle User Group (BUG).

The petition was launched over the summer and collected more than 3,000 signatures in support of the K2L cycle path. It asked the council to provide a time table by the end of 2019 detailing the funding and when different parts of the work will be completed.

The petition said: “The K2L route will provide an important step in the transition to a low carbon and healthy transport system for Warwickshire.”

The proposed K2L route is a segregated cycle path parallel to the A452 between north Leamington to Kenilworth via Rocky Lane.

Alex, who is a member of Cycleways, spoke of the multi-faceted benefits the K2L path will offer the area.

She said: “The K2L would dramatically improve cycle access between these two towns, benefiting schools, the university, and business parks.

“Additionally shop and restaurant owners in Kenilworth could expect more local business, similar to studies commissioned by Transport for London that show traffic reduction benefits local retail.”

Five people attended the county council meeting with Alex to show their support for the proposed K2L cycle path.

Alex added: “Cycling to school or work can enable people to increase their regular exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle.

“Physical inactivity directly contributes to 1 in 6 deaths in the UK, the same number as smoking, creating a burden on health services. It is time to prioritise infrastructure for healthy sustainable transport.”

Campaigners also said the K2L cycle path goes along with the declaration of a climate emergency over the summer by the Warwickshire County Council and several other local council governments.

Alex also said: “Warwickshire needs a coherent and comprehensive cycle network. Let K2L be the start of a bold and necessary new strategy in low carbon transport for the county.

“This is an ideal opportunity for you to demonstrate responsiveness to public opinion and take action to address the climate emergency.”

Campaigners have seen an increase in support for the K2L, which included both MP Jeremy Wright (Kenilworth and Southam) and MP Matt Western (Leamington and Warwick), from councillors at both the county and district level along with more local town councillors too. The University of Warwick has also shown support of the K2L cycle path.

Rodney King co-founded the Cycleways group, a volunteer group campaigning for better cycle provision in Kenilworth, Leamington and Warwick, in 1994 with the aim to secure better conditions for cyclists.

Rodney said: “The current interest and activity is a big step in the right direction. It is now a question of funding.”

He understands funding for the K2L cycle path will be discussed at the county's Transport and Planning Committee meeting next month. If allocated, funding would then have to be approved by the county's cabinet at its December meeting.

A spokesperson for Warwickshire County Council said: "The Kenilworth to Leamington cycle route (K2L) is recognised as a high priority cycling scheme and the council is aware of the high level of support for the scheme from the local community.

"Good progress is being made to overcome the significant design and financial challenges associated with K2L with the aim of reaching the position in the not too distant future whereby we can deliver this important cycling connection between the two towns."