Pedals: Nottingham's Cycling Campaign Group

Hugh McClintock is a member of Pedals, a Nottingham-based community organisation made up of volunteers which encourages more people to use bikes and campaigns for safe, and more attractive conditions, for cyclists in the Nottingham area. Pedals has been running since 1979 and has been instrumental in establishing one of the largest urban cycling networks in the UK.

Pedals is keen to see cycling provision in the city upgraded. Quite a lot of the cycle network in Nottingham dates from a long time ago and some of the standards of provision are fairly poor. A few years ago Nottingham City Council got funding from the Department for Transport to update existing cycling provision along four transport corridors coming into the city.

Pedals has been involved at all stages of the project. We contributed ideas and comments on the original proposal for funding. Then, as work on the first corridor was nearing completion, we were invited to do a tour inspection and comment on emerging issues so that they could be taken on board before the scheme was finalised. Looking forward, the City Council is soon to start detailed consultation on its latest plans for developing the area around the Broadmarsh Centre, including diverting general through traffic to the south of Nottingham Railway Station. We’re keen to make sure the details of the new layouts are well connected, with three of the cycle corridors in particular. This should make the whole lot together much safer, easier and more valuable when the whole project is finally completed, sometime in late 2019.(NB: this case study was compiled in August 2017 and January 2018 and the project may have since moved on or have been completed).

We find that it’s important to have both an ongoing dialogue with the council about current projects as well as a vision of how we would like things to be in an ideal world. An ongoing dialogue means being aware of schemes being proposed and emerging ideas. You need to provide input at all the different stages of a scheme and be prepared for continual effort not just one burst of activity. Keep providing feedback. Keep following up with your local authority.

If you don’t have any dialogue with your council yet then it’s important to ask local authority Officers and Councillors to come along to your meetings. We send them free copies of our twice yearly newsletter to make them aware of our concerns and different ideas. Be creative in your thinking – in the past we’ve run ‘guided cycle study tours’ of local cycle routes for councillors and officers to make them aware of problems.

For major projects we work with other groups and organisations. We’ve been working for a few years with various other groups on a major proposal for a foot-cycle bridge across the Trent on the east side of Nottingham  which would be part of a major commuter and leisure route for cyclists and walkers. It would link new areas of housing on both sides of the river to the city and would provide a route for less confident cyclists who wouldn’t want to tackle the existing bridges which can be rather dangerous for cyclists. It would also contribute to tackling air pollution problems.

This work has involved dialogue with Nottinghamshire County Council as well as the City Council, and we’re also working with Sustrans. It’s the most ambitious thing we’ve been involved in.

With some projects, you really do have to be in it for the long haul. We’ve been involved with a possible project at Bennerley Viaduct for over 30 years. It was earmarked for demolition at one point, but it’s now owned by Sustrans, who are working to find a positive use for it. We’re hoping to get funding to create a cycling and walking path across the top of the viaduct.

Find out more or get involved in Pedals.




Hugh was talking to Caroline Harmon. This case study was compiled in August 2017.