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Council Leader Ben Chapelard has completed a fact-finding visit to Utrecht to find more about why some people call this city in the Netherlands the cycling capital of the world.

Ben met representatives from The Dutch Cycling Embassy, an organisation representing the best of Dutch cycling, set up to share the country’s cycling expertise and facilitate cycling worldwide. His visit also included a guided bike tour looking at cycling infrastructure with a view to seeing how that might be adapted for the different requirements in the Tunbridge Wells borough. Following the visit Ben said: ‘I want to learn from the best practice in the world so that we can build more vibrant towns and villages in our borough. There are many advantages to increasing walking and cycling. We must seize the opportunity to transform the way we live and improve the quality of life for residents.’
Utrecht has the biggest cycle parking facility in the world in a purpose-built garage with room to park over 12,500 bicycles located as an integral part of the main train station.
Active travel is one of the Borough Partnership’s priorities to create more vibrant towns and village. The Partnership has recognised this by appointing the first ever Walking and Cycling Champion, Councillor Peter Lidstone.
Cllr Chapelard’s visit was self-funded at no cost to the taxpayer.
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