A CYCLING campaign group has hit out at York council ahead of a 21-mile bike ride to raise awareness of the independence that cycling brings.

York Cycle Campaign claim that the council needs to improve city infrastructure to make cycling more accessible. But councillors say money has been allocated for a city-wide access review.

The Cycle to Freedom ride, organised by the campaign group and the charity Empowered People, takes place this Sunday, October 17, at 10.30am, starting from Cycle Heaven in York and heading out to Acaster Malbis and then Selby, and a circuit of the city centre.

York Cycle Campaign member, Jamie Wood, said: “Maintaining physical activity is a key part of managing Multiple Sclerosis, since I can no longer walk any reasonable distance.

“Cycling for me is independence, it is now the only way I can get outside and into the fresh air unaided, I can get myself to work and do activities with my children.

“It really is shameful that the primary barrier for more vulnerable cyclists to take up cycling is poor infrastructure - the existence of physical barriers in breach of equality law was highlighted by a local campaigner, John Skelton, this summer in The Press and nothing has been done, and cyclists are not permitted to cycle in the city centre at all.”

Councillor Andy D’Agorne, executive member for transport, said: “A £100,000 budget allocation was provided by the council for a city-wide Access Barrier Review in 2021/22.

"We will be undertaking changes shortly on the barriers on Hob Moor to improve accessibility.

"As part of this, the council would like to make a commitment to consult with York Cycle Campaign on the proposed design solution for the Hob Moor barriers."

The ride is open to anyone over16, to book a space log onto the York Cycle Campaign website.