Dartmoor walks this way | News

Green Party Campaign Ride

2015-04-13 13:23:55

The Central Devon constituency covers one of the largest areas of any in England – 550 square miles – which makes effective campaigning quite a challenge, particularly if you’re the candidate for a party with limited resources and a strong environmental ethic.  Add to that the fact that the heart of the constituency –  the jewel in its crown – is Dartmoor which is notoriously bereft of public transport and very hilly, thus not suitable for cycling far unless you’re already very fit.  What to do if you’re a Green Party that wants to reach out to rural voters but not clog the roads with yet more cars?

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The resourceful Green Party candidate for Central Devon, Andy Williamson, has teamed up with Dartmoor Walks & Rides This Way to go on the campaign trail -- on electric bikes.  On April 30, Andy and supporters will set off from Ashburton and cycle 30 miles over eastern Dartmoor to Okehampton, passing through Widecombe, Moretonhampstead, Chagford, South Zeal and Sticklepath.  En route, the group will stop at these towns and villages to talk to residents, hand out leaflets and discuss issues affecting these communities such as sustainable transport, affordable housing, employment opportunities etc.

As the founder of Dartmoor Walks & Rides This Way, I’m delighted to be part of this day.  I set up the business because I really wanted people to enjoy Dartmoor away from their cars.  By offering tours on foot, e-bike or both, I hope to encourage people to venture further afield and see the wonderful hidden corners of this unique landscape.  This is very much in line with the Green Party’s focus on sustainable transport, cycle routes and alternatives to reliance on private cars.  The route we’re taking on April 30th goes through spectacular scenery and visits lovely communities.  I can’t wait.  Look out for us if you live nearby or join us for some or all of it.  Here's the planned schedule:

Leave Ashburton at 9.15 am
Arrive at Widecombe at 10.15
have a 15 min stop
Get to North Bovey at 11am
Have a 15 min stop
Get to Moretonhampsted at 11.45
Have a 30 min stop
Get to Chagford at 1pm
Stop for an hour at the Courtyard Café to have lunch and charge the bikes.
Get to South Zeal at 3pm
have a 15 min stop
Get to Sticklepath at 3.30pm
Stay for 15 mins
Get to Okehampton at around 4.30pm

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