Bath’s first cycling mayor revealed


For centuries, charter administrators have chosen the mayor of Bath.

Now, for the first time, the city has a “bicycle mayor”, appointed by an Amsterdam-based social enterprise “driven by the belief that bicycles transform cities and cities transform the world”.

After putting herself forward, the cycle tour organizer Kidical Mass Saskia Heijltjes is the first to take on the role of volunteer, independent of individual organizations or political groups.

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It will be part of a network of more than 100 cycling mayors in 30 countries who share best practices and promote innovation.

When asked why Bath needed it, the web content editor said: “To accelerate the progress of cycling in Bath by highlighting and supporting the role of civil society in implementing change sustainable and community-based.

“Cycling mayors are the human face and the voice of cycling advocacy in a city.

“My job as mayor of the bike will be to work in all parts of the community to identify the most pressing problems and then bring people together to work on implementing practical solutions. “

She added: “Cycling in Bath is to some extent safe in some areas, such as the canal towpath, the river towpath, the two tunnels path, the Bristol-Bath railway.

“These paths are pleasant for leisure trips, but do not allow safe cycling for daily commuting. These paths are also not suitable for biking in the dark for some, including many women and children.

“Most importantly, it’s not safe for all ages and abilities to cycle in Bath at the moment. An eight-year-old cannot ride a bike safely (with parent / guardian) in many places in Bath, including their own school.

Saskia Heijltjes, first mayor of Bath, at a children’s mass. Submitted.

“If we want more people to cycle, we need safe cycling infrastructure for ages eight to 80. This could be achieved through separate cycle lanes along main roads and traffic-free roads connecting living quarters, for example. “

Ms. Heijltjes organized Kidical Mass hikes to advocate for daily bike rides for all ages.

Her candidacy was endorsed by Walk Ride Bath President Adam Reynolds, Avon Valley Cyclery Director Luke Ludwell, and Green Councilor Joanna Wright.

Cllr Wright said: “Saskia appreciates and fully understands the many reasons why safe cycling infrastructure and education are needed.

“Improving cycling infrastructure, access and inclusion also allows people to move around, which in turn leads to social justice and improved public health, and combats the effects of the climate crisis. “

The next Kidical Mass will be a Halloween-themed ride starting from Orange Grove at 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 30. Everyone is invited to join.

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