New greenway plan
Work could start as soon as next summer on creating a new, traffic-free walking and cycling route linking Haydon Hill, Aylesbury, with Waddesdon Greenway.
So popular has the Greenway proved – attracting more than 70,000 users in its first year – that the scenic traffic-free link has been designed to connect it with Aylesbury’s cycle network.
And the designs form the mainstay of a planning application submitted earlier this month.
The two-thirds-of-a-mile ‘greenway’ link, funded by a £400,000 grant from the Department for Transport through the walking and cycling charity Sustrans, will eventually create a dedicated cycle route from the centre of Aylesbury to Waddesdon Manor and village.
It will go via Aylesbury Vale Parkway station, and along a new cycle link planned in Berryfields Parish Council’s proposed Roman Park centre for community and leisure activities.
The new ‘greenway’, bridging the River Thame and three other water courses, will eliminate the need to cross the busy A41 twice, and take walkers and cyclists on a more pleasant rural route.
It extends Emerald Way, one of Aylesbury’s nine popular Gemstone cycle routes, to meet the well-used Waddesdon Greenway, and builds on the town’s successful cycleway network.
The project, led by Buckinghamshire County Council, will be overseen by Greenways and Cycleroutes Ltd, which built Waddesdon Greenway.
The link strengthens the joint vision of the county council and Aylesbury Garden Town to prioritise walking and cycling, and the aspiration to extend the cycleway network to Haddenham and along the Grand Union Canal.
It is a project that pleases county councillor Clive Harriss, cycle champion for the Garden Town, who aims to extend the opportunity for people to travel beautiful paths in outstanding countryside.
He said: ‘What a great asset this will be to our residents. It’ll help realise our vision that people will choose to walk, cycle or use public transport for everyday journeys because the town is easy to navigate and has an integrated and inclusive transport system.’
It has been welcomed by Paul Irwin, County Council Deputy Cabinet Member for Transport, a key advocate for the Greenway.
He said: ‘This new link will make a much easier and safer cycle ride, and walking will be much more pleasant. Hopefully, it will encourage more people from the town to use the brilliant Waddesdon Greenway.
‘With increasing national dialogue on the need to invest tangibly in protecting our environment and encouraging healthy living, I’m pleased we’re forging ahead with plans like these to give our residents attractive travel alternatives.’
The Greenway link follows hot on the heels of another cycleway extension, which opened earlier in the autumn, encouraging pupils of Haydon Abbey and St Michael’s schools to walk or cycle.
At a cost of £156,000, jointly funded by Aylesbury Garden Town, the county council and developers, the quarter-mile extension to Ruby Way provides a wide walking and cycling route along the busy Weedon Road.
St Michael’s Head of School, Adam Palmer, said: ‘The cycleway has had a clear, positive impact on the school and there is space for all users to use the cycleway safely.’
Cycle trio Paul Irwin and Clive Harriss with Transport Cabinet Member Mark Shaw