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Cycle Route on Thame Road

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Woman Cycling on Cycle Route

Recently some Haddenham residents were sent a letter from Buckinghamshire Council describing a temporary arrangement being considered for a safe cycling route along Thame Road.

This matter was discussed at a parish council 'Environment Committee' meeting held online on Monday 10th August. Roderick Floud, Chair of the Village Society and member of the Haddenham Safe Walking & Cycling Group, observed the meeting and submitted the following commentary:

"The Buckinghamshire Council's contribution to the government's Active Travel Plan includes measures in Haddenham to encourage cycling and walking. There is to be an experimental one-way cycle lane (west to east) along Thame Road from the station to Fort End, together with a 20 mph speed limit for the whole east-west route through the village including Woodways.

The potholes etc in Thame Road will be repaired at the outset and the scheme is due to be introduced in the next few weeks. If the experiment is a success, it can be made permanent.

Other "Active Travel" schemes will be implemented in five other locations in Buckinghamshire and many others across England.

The plan was presented to the Environment Committee of the Haddenham Parish Council on Monday 10th August. Councillor David O'Hanlon said that he and the Chair, David Truesdale, had advised against a further proposal, to close Woodways to through traffic other than buses, taxis, emergency vehicles and cycles. This advice was given because of the danger that traffic would be displaced onto Willis Road and other streets.

Roderick Floud was allowed to speak on behalf of the Haddenham Safe Walking and Cycling Group and expressed considerable disappointment at this decision and the advice given. He pointed out that the scheme was explicitly stated to be to encourage safe cycling to school, but that the cycle lane now stopped several hundred metres short of the junior and infant schools in Woodways and would not help children to negotiate the double roundabout at Churchway.

He also commented that it is not clear that anyone concerned with the school travel plans was consulted and it appears that the possible inconvenience to residents of Willis Road has been given priority over the safety of children. However, the plan has the great merit of slowing traffic through the village and discouraging through traffic trying to avoid the A418.

There will be provision for public consultation and it will be very important for all residents to give their views on whether the changes should be made permanent or, indeed, extended to help Haddenham to become a walking and cycling village.

Roderick Floud
Haddenham Safe Walking and Cycling Group
11th August 2020