There was a long piece about cycling in Darlington in the Guardian yesterday. It's available in text-only form online: Making tracks . I'm getting a copy of the paper to see if there are any photos.
In some parts of Europe, a quarter of all journeys are made by bike. In Britain the figure is 2%. Can anything persuade us to leave our cars and get pedalling? Perhaps the unlikeliest of towns - Darlington - holds the key.
Darlington is no more than four miles wide on its longest axis (east-west) - you could cycle end to end in 15 minutes. From the outskirts to the inner pedestrian precinct could never be more than a couple of miles, but 80% of car trips are into the city centre. The transport unit's research shows that 34% of car journeys could, theoretically, be done by bike (short trips with no passengers or loads).
They've got an uphill struggle: I've been cycling to work for the last 11 months and people think I'm mad for doing so; since September, I've been cycling to Hurworth for work one afternoon per week and that's seen as insane - it's only 4.5 miles!