18 April 2011

Northamptonshire County Council’s new orbital cycle route around Northampton will be officially opened to cyclists on Wednesday, April 20.

Known as Norbital the 18 mile (29Km) hard-surfaced path is targeted at providing an alternative, cost-effective and healthy way for commuters to beat the traffic.

Funded from central government’s Community Infrastructure Fund the route is a mixture of new tracks and existing cycle infrastructure.

It passes through or close to many major residential, industrial and retail areas of the town and also links with other cycle ways.

Cllr Heather Smith, county council cabinet member for highways, minerals and waste, said: “Research shows that many short commutes can be faster on a bicycle than by car because of the volume of traffic and so, for many, this new cycle route will be a very viable alternative to taking the car to work.

“This money has been made available specifically for projects such as this which facilitate sustainable growth and with cycling becoming an increasingly popular mode of transport I believe Norbital will be put to very good use.

“As well as environmental benefits, cycling is also a very cheap form of travel and of course there are big health benefits from taking regular exercise too.”

  • An averagely fit person can sustain an average speed of 12mph meaning a commute of four miles can be undertaken in about 20 minutes.
  • On average, moderate cycling can burn around 500 calories per hour.
  • A typical family car emits 150 g/Km of CO2. Therefore a 4 mile commute would create around 950g of CO2 each way.
  • Based on the above, cycling four miles each way to work would burn 330 calories and save almost a kg of CO2
  • Over one week, this would burn 1,650 calories and save 9.5kg of CO2.