Getting out into nature has enormous positive effects on both the mind and the body.
For people who don’t have access to green spaces due to mobility issues, Monty’s Bike Hub, a Southampton-based social enterprise and charity, provides a free ‘Trishaw Trips’ service to give people the opportunity to sit back, feel the wind in their hair and enjoy traffic-free routes on the National Cycle Network.
But travelling along the Network isn't always a walk in the park, as Josh, a Sustrans volunteer and the founder of Monty’s Bike Hub, experienced.
In this blog post, Josh explains how he fought to get a barrier redesigned to benefit not just his volunteers and the people who enjoy his trishaw rides, but everyone in the surrounding area too.
A restrictive barrier stopped me in my tracks
Cycling along on his trishaw on Route 2 of the Network, Josh came across a physical barrier which forced him to stop.
He had no choice but to get off the trishaw and precariously navigate through a pair of close-set bollards and past a chicane barrier.
Josh explained: “The barrier was put in a long time ago to stop motorbikes, but motorcyclists still managed to get through.
“People were just riding round the edges of it which created a lot of mud.
“It was a really tight squeeze to get through; it wasn’t easy.
“I then imagined my dream route, which would be something that flows a bit more, where people don’t get stuck in the mud.”
Getting through the barrier may have been just about doable for Josh, but some of his volunteer riders who aren’t as mobile as he is would have struggled or been completely unable to get through on the trishaw.
This would have caused similar access issues for someone using a mobility aid or an adapted cycle on the route.
Unwilling to accept defeat in the face of the physical barrier, Josh was motivated to take action to get the barrier redesigned so the route between Woolston and Hamble and beyond could be enjoyed by all, without limitations.