Brian Robinson – the first ever Brit to complete the Tour De France and win a stage will join Wakefield Council and Sustrans to celebrate the opening of the Castleford Greenway cycle route, which marks the 1000th mile of signed National Cycle Network routes in Yorkshire.
On Saturday 28 June Brian will cut a ribbon to mark the opening of the route, built by Sustrans, and there will be family fun day with a bouncy obstacle course, spinning bike sessions, Nordic walking, refreshments, and community groups.
The National Cycle Network is a series of safe, traffic-free lanes and quiet on-road routes that stretches 14,500 miles across the length and breadth of the UK. The opening of the mile-long Castleford Greenway section means Yorkshire now has 1000 miles of cycle ways on the National Cycle Network – the largest amount of any county. Sustrans will maintain the Greenway, a former railway line which is also open to walkers, and hopes to work with the council to connect it to existing cycle routes in Leeds, Wakefield, Garforth and Pontefract.
Brian, 84, who is now retired, helps maintain cycle routes in Yorkshire through his volunteer work for the charity Sustrans, which inspired and continues to coordinate development of the National Cycle Network. Brian said: “I’m delighted that so many quality cycleways are now available for everyone to enjoy. I hope this route becomes as popular with walkers and cyclists as the other greenway routes in Yorkshire.”
Paul Osborne, Regional Director for Sustrans Yorkshire said: “Yorkshire now has a fantastic range of cycle routes which are used every day for thousands of school, commuting and leisure journeys. “You don’t have to be an elite athlete to get on your bike. Cycling is a fun, free activity which the entire family can enjoy.”
Cllr Les Shaw said: “As a Council we are committed to having opportunities for our residents to enjoy cycling and walking and we are extremely pleased that the 1000th mile of cycleway has landed in Wakefield. “With the Tour De France approaching closer – this is sure to inspire residents to get on their bikes this summer.”
In 1958, Brian Robinson became the first Briton to win a stage of the Tour de France, when he won stage seven, to Brest. He also had subsequent wins in the 20th stage (from Annecy to Chalon-sur-Saône) of the 1959 Tour and won two stages of the 1961 Critérium de Dauphiné Libéré. In 2009 he was inducted into the British Cycling Hall of Fame.
The National Cycle Network connects to every major city and passes within a mile of 55 per cent of UK homes. Some 3.1 million people used the National Cycle Network in 2012.
Brian Robinson will cut the ribbon on the new route at a family fun day on Saturday June 28 from 10.30am-2pm. Media are invited to attend the event. For more information or to confirm attendance please contact Sarah Roe, Sustrans Press officer on T: 0161 233 4071 m: 07847 372647 or Dave Stevens on T: 0113 245 0006