WINCHESTER cyclists of all ages joined in a socially-distanced campaign to make sure the needs of cyclists are heard loud and clear at this important time.

In normal circumstances they would have ridden together in a grand procession into and around town - the Winchester Mass Ride.

Earlier this month riders had to make the journey as individuals or in small groups, heading to King Alfred’s Statue to take a selfie in front of a ‘Not The Mass Ride’ decorated bike. Selfies were posted on social media often accompanied by a message about the need to make Winchester a safer place for cyclists – like the Hampson family looking forward to “segregation on North Walls”.

Those who took part are calling for cycling around Winchester to be made easier as one of the aims of the Winchester Movement Strategy and as a way to tackle the high carbon levels in the city, and say this has now become a critical issue in the light of Covid-19.

Organiser David Hyde said: “Many more people are starting to use pushbikes as their preferred means of transport: the road network needs to be adapted temporarily, or permanently, to ensure that cyclists can maintain appropriate social-distancing whilst getting around.

“Additional space and priority for cycling would especially help new or returning cyclists rightly nervous of venturing onto busy roads.”

In the light of changing rules as we move out of lockdown, Cycle Winchester is already planning further safe and responsible actions that will build on the momentum of ‘Not the Mass Ride’ and keep pressure on the council to make Winchester “better by bike”.