THE Covid pandemic can leave a positive legacy among the economic meltdown. There is undoubtedly a greater desire for people to be out in the countryside, walking and cycling.

Today, we report how a survey finds that 39 per cent of people in Darlington have walked more over the summer and 38 per cent have cycled more. Separately, we report how villagers in Gilling West want to be connected to Richmond by a walking and cycling path, and there are similar pleas coming from people in Catterick, Great Ayton and Stokesley. Nationally, 94 per cent of people say they want to cycle and walk more after the pandemic.

It is easy to have good intentions when asked by survey-takers, and it may be that enthusiasm begins to wane when as people start pedalling into the winter weather.

But our councils should seize this moment. Of course, their finances are going to be stretched, but through the planning process can they not ensure that all the new developments currently doughnutting our towns are serviced by cyclepaths which bring residents into the centre?