The Isle of Wight has been called the best place in the world for cycling by The Lonely Planet travel guides, and anyone who’s turned a pedal somewhere on the Island will know this to be true.
However, there is always scope for getting more people on two wheels for leisure and in particular for commuting.
The Isle of Wight Council is looking for proposals to further encourage the use of the Newport to Cowes cycle track as it aims to turn it into the UK’s first SMART corridor.
Bidding for the available funding is now open and more information can be found here: iwight.com/prospectus
With funding secured from the Department for Transport, a digital solution is needed to encourage more people to take cycle trips down the existing route.
The solution to getting people to use the route is expected to come from data such as GPS, real time usage, points of interest, and especially journey purpose.
The focus is on commuting, and getting more people around the Island’s commercial triangle of Cowes, East Cowes and Newport on two wheels.
The Council is offering a grant of up to £35,000 to the winning partner organisation in the current financial year. This opportunity comes as part of the council’s Sustainable Travel Transition Year programme which is funded by the Department for Transport.
The well-used cycle route continues all the way to Sandown, the popular beach town. After the initial focus on the Cowes to Newport route, the SMART cycling corridor could be expanded to cover a greater geographical area and increase its functionality beyond the initial intended growth in the number of cycle commuters.
The winning bid could be any creative solution from things like smartphone apps, to games, or an interpretation of the area.