Helen Billingham | Apr 2018

Pedalling Culture Launch 19th April 2018 – Bletchley Park 

Video audio – words by Helen Thakrar, Project Manager, Pedalling Culture 

This exciting new project aims to encourage alternative transport thinking, creating fun, healthy and sustainable transport options to travel to arts and heritage locations across Milton Keynes.

I am thrilled to be launching Pedalling Culture, which will enable residents, workers and visitors to utilise our abundance of green and sustainable transport options that connect them with Milton Keynes’ cultural destinations. We hope that visitors, workers and residents will engage with this fun and varied approach to visiting our wealth of diverse and vibrant culture.

We will build infrastructure to link Culture across Milton Keynes. This will be done by harnessing MK’s green and sustainable aspirations to ensure that Arts and Heritage locations are accessible to local people and visitors.

There will be a minimum of 4 new electric vehicle charge points at cultural venues.  Bletchley Park is our first cultural site to benefit from the Go Ultra Low programme of destination charge points and I’d like to acknowledge Chargemaster here who have really helped make this a smooth process.

Working closely with the EV experience Centre in CMK we will raise the profile of electric cars by wrapping them in high quality Art designs, thus raising their visibility and the scheme itself through mobile art. You will have seen the 6 newly wrapped cars outside on your arrival and will have a chance to speak with the artists about their designs and take photos after.

We are joined today by artists;

Tom Guilmard

Rob Cowan

Eleanor Vonne Brown

Fraser Muggeridge

and Signs Express 


The innovative Catapult driverless pods available to use in MK later this year will have cultural way finding embedded into their programming.  You can see the pods outside today or may even have seen one of the test pods currently out in D4 of Milton Keynes testing routes.  We will ensure that users of these pods can explore cultural venues in central MK and gain access to information about what is available cultural for them in MK.


Working with the Santander Cycle MK programme, local cycling clubs, running groups and walking groups we will promote the usage of the Redways and Leisure routes as a means of access to cultural venues.  Exploring our beautiful green city via these routes enables residents and visitors to appreciate the hidden cultural gems and spaces from a new perspective.


Pedalling Culture will support existing investment into creating effective way finding and signage so visitors are able to utilise sustainable transport to connect them to culture.  Cultural venues have been included on the new Redway map which will be distributed to every household in 2018 and planned signage on the new Redway super routes will ensure that users can find their way to cultural venues easily.  We are also working with a fantastic cycling consultant (Colin) on the design of new cultural routes that will make exploring our cultural landscape easy, fun and accessible to more people.


So, we have the infrastructure building side covered…. Now onto the engagement side of the project.


We will engage with communities, businesses and cultural venues in key locations with the aim of empowering and activating a team of champions to embed sustainable transport into mind-sets and encourage them to participate in culture.


Our engagement coordinator Nicky Kenny will work in 4 areas of Milton Keynes over the next 12 months;

NW Milton Keynes (Wolverton, Bradville, Stantonbury),


Newton Leys and West Bletchley

She will work with partners to recruit volunteers to act as champions for the project and support the communities and businesses to get involved and take advantage of the opportunities on offer.


One such offer will be the programme of innovative cultural engagement activities in 2018, that will attract visitors locally and nationally.  Working with the Arts & Heritage Association, who have specialist knowledge and experience in this area, there will be 5 engaging projects running from June-October. Through an open tender process we have been lucky enough to secure commissions from;

The Bicycle Ballet Company – Blazing Saddles a celebration of women and cycling and fashion. 20 local participants recruited through workshops

Independent Cinema MK –  will produce and lead an underpass cinema tour and experience that will form part of the MK Fringe in July 2018

MK:IF  We are thrilled to be able to support the MK:IF in 2018 by means of funding the Bicycle Bell-ero where a group of riders will travel the Redways playing tuneful bell mini-peals culminating their journey with a performance at the MK Rose.

MOTUS – Pedalling the Tracks will highlight the old railway line running from Newport Pagnell to Wolverton by using a series of dance performances along the route at cultural sites and locations.

Tracing the Pathway –  Working with artists to engage people in interventions on the Redways through creative, social and cultural activities. Phil Smith will develop an alternative tour guide for the city whilst Hayley Newman will produce an experience led alternative Redway map.

Jessica Rost & Stuart Moore will be jointly working on a perambulating outdoor show involving 5 engaging Peddlers who will have extraordinary props and they promise us some unforgettable interactions.  They will include sound installations that create a new way to perceive the spaces and environments of the Redway, so watch out for this

Pedalling Culture will, with the expertise of DMK, design, deliver and market cultural destination packages and itineraries that encompass all aspects of the project. These will range from 45 minutes to full day and weekend cultural experiences and will really give a new light to how best to explore Milton Keynes in what is DMK’s year of Cultural Tourism.

All of this work will increase awareness and attendance at Cultural venues; increase awareness and use of sustainable modes of transport;

Improve access to and between our cultural venues by sustainable means; and improve the health and wellbeing of residents and visitors to Milton Keynes.

It’s exciting

A lot is planned to happen in Milton Keynes over the next 18 month

Please be involved, if you’re not already

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