New Essex cycling strategy unveiled

Uttlesford Cycling Strategy outlines improvements to infrastructure for Essex, if funding can be secured

essex roads spring lamb sportive, british cyclo sportive, 2009

A document has been created in Essex that outlines a series of potential cycle paths if funding can be found.

The Uttlesford Cycling Strategy has been developed by Essex Highways and cabinet members of the Uttlesford District Council have approved the scheme having commissioned it last year.

The proposals in the document, which can be viewed in its entirety on the Uttlesford website, include making a link between Saffron Walden and Audley End railway station at a cost of £200,000 and many more possible cycle routes.

Many of the host towns of last year’s Tour de France stage three from Cambridge to London are featured in the document that also highlights improvements and issues that need to be accounted for when developments are considered.

>>> Tour de France 2014 stage three photo gallery

Despite the Strategy, it does not mean that more cycling projects will be implemented. For improvements and constructions to take place councils must be given funding.

“Funding will be a key issue and hopefully, after the General Election, the Government will provide substantially more funding to allow schemes to proceed,” Cllr Alastair Walters, chairman of the Uttlesford Local Highways Panel, said.

He labelled the strategy as an “excellent, well-composed document that, if adopted, will give us the basis to move forward with the introduction or more cycle paths in the district.”

A similar pledge was made towards the end of the last millennium with claims only a few of the proposals actually came to fruition. It is that reason, therefore, that cycling campaign group Access Walden remain sceptical.

A spokesman told Cambridge News: “The strategy is a welcome re-commitment by Essex County Council and Uttlesford District Council to cycling for work and leisure.

"However, like their 1999 cycle strategy of which virtually nothing was implemented, its vision and deliverability remains questionable as there is scant detail on political ownership and funding, and no consultation with end users such as active cycle groups and local schools.”

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