Perfect partnership linking hiking trails in Cape Winelands is saving lives – SA Trails Network’s Reghard Goussard – BizNews

What started as an initiative by SA Trails Network, a non-profit organisation connecting mountain biking trails in the Cape Winelands, has developed into a project that not only benefits cyclists but all the communities in the area, especially the school children who have to brave dangerous roads to get to school. The Founder of SA Trails Network, Reghard Goussard, told BizNews that it is a perfect partnership between the private sector, communities and the government – has saved lives and made a major difference to people in the area in less than a year. Goussard said future plans would involve linking first the Western Cape trails and then the 22,000 km of hiking trails nationally to create a super network of trails. – Linda van Tilburg

Small mountain bike initiative helps improve kids’ lives 

It’s been but nine, ten months now and back then, it was a very simple, call it a small community initiative, where we thought, well, let’s connect the disconnected mountain biking trails so the mountain bikers can cycle from their homes to get to the private trails which are predominantly on the farms. So, that’s how the idea started. Then when we started connecting these trails using a network of community trails, which are basically between various towns like Franschhoek, Stellenbosch, Paarl and Wellington; we actually realised that the trails are already in existence, but they are not necessarily formulated and they also are not connected to various other trail networks. So we started connecting these trails in the communities in June last year, and realised that there are thousands of kids on these trails on a day-to-day basis but they weren’t formulated or necessarily clearly demarcated.

So we came up with the idea to actually go and we carve these trials within the communities and we give it specifications: 1.2 metres wide, which allows an adult plus a child to walk next to each other, or allows two people to cycle next to each other. We wanted to create a safe passage. A big part of it was that we wanted to get people off the road shoulder.

Safer passage for 4,500 to 5,000 school kids who use the trails daily

On a day-to day-basis, we’ve just done a survey. We’ve got about four-and-a-half to 5,000 kids a day on our …….


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