An open letter from a GWC member in response to an article on proposed Wendover cycle routes in the 12th Oct. issue of the Bucks Herald

posted 13 Oct 2011, 13:58 by Eli Kling

The article in last week's Bucks Herald on the cycle path row (Page 11) should have been headed “NOT on your bike”. It is a shame that the decision at the meeting not to support a scheme to convert the existing footway on Manor Road to a dual use path was made by councillors, the majority of whom do not cycle and as a consequence have little understanding on how to cycle safely.
The off-road route along the edge of a field behind houses in The Beeches was first mentioned to me early in 2005. Six and a half years later BCC have still not valued the required land so are not in a position to make a purchase offer to the Canadian owner. Clearly there has been no rush to pursue this option. Also the proposal does not include lighting. Is Wendover Parish Council happy to support the creation of an uncosted, unlit cycle/ pedestrian path round the edge of a field? Oh, and BCC are not able to say where the money will come from to pay for it anyway. This year BCC completely removed all the money from the cycling budget diverting it to the road repair budget so that motorists can travel faster in safety. Who is to say this will not happen in future years?

What was not mentioned in your article is the fact that the Manor Road scheme is only one part of a legal agreement attached to  money from the developers of the Princess Mary Hospital site. Other parts of the scheme are improvements to the Clock Tower junction and to pedestrian/cycleway facilities from the B4009/Chestnut Avenue junction along the B4009 to Wendover High Street.

As a resident of Halton village I cycle into Wendover usually twice a week and welcome the proposed improvements to the town centre.   I am sure many other local residents would similarly support these improvement  On the Tring Road pinch points caused by pedestrian islands are a real hazard for cyclists and being able to avoid these would significantly improve safety.   This will be particularly helpful in encourage people who would like to return to cycling but ar not confident in traffic. I wonder what the Parish council views are on these other proposals? Were they discussed in detail at the meeting , if so were they approved or rejected?
Given the go ahead, these schemes can be completed without local funding, partly by money from the developers and partly by the government funded Safe Routes to Schools programme managed by Sustrans.  If BCC do not give approval, the currently available Safe Routes to Schools funding will be lost as it is time limited and the scheme was recently cancelled by the government.
Continued stalling could see all the schemes being kicked into the long grass for years and £295000, currently available lost to our local community.