By Cynthia Floud - 24th October 2016 5:00pm
Haddenham has many cyclists and walkers, old and young. Within the village they can walk and cycle more safely than ever before, but if they try to cycle outside the village, there are no safe routes at all. Likewise, if people from other towns and villages wish to come to Haddenham to use the station or medical centre, both of which serve a wide area, they have to use their cars to travel safely.
Negotiations continue on a possible Cycleway/Footway from Haddenham to Thame, but meanwhile Bucks County Council's Local Area Forum last year paid for a Feasibility Study of a route from Haddenham to Aylesbury. (See lower image on this page for a map of the whole route — click on the image to view an enlarged version). But the beauty of this project is that safe, off-road access to Aylesbury can be achieved on the completion of only the first stage of the route from Haddenham and the intervening section could be upgraded later.
The reason for making the path in stages is the huge cost: to do the whole route to join Stone's dedicated cycle/footpath would cost at least half a million pounds.
Stage One (see upper image, right) starts from Haddenham post office on Churchway and follows the existing green lane going E; currently this becomes a muddy, narrow slither among nettles and brambles; then, at the junction of the footpath to Dinton, it turns N and later crosses the A418 before the bus park and finishes at the road to Cuddington, where the existing off-road path to Stone begins.
To make this stage will cost at least £150,000, according to the Feasibility Study, and it is likely to cost more because it is currently so overgrown that vegetation must be cut back and there also needs to be a refuge on the A418 to make a safer crossing.
The Parish Council, with the assistance of Haddenham Safe Walking & Cycling Group, has applied for £150,000 from the New Homes Bonus Scheme run by AVDC. Very few projects meet the criteria for the NHB Scheme but this one does! However we will not be successful unless we can show support from the village community.
This dry, flat path will benefit far more of us than just those who walk and cycle. Cycleways within Haddenham, such as the one across the playing field, are in safe daily use by wheelchairs, buggies and older pedestrians (and some younger ones), who value a flat, non-slip surface to walk on. This will thus be a path which benefits the whole community in Haddenham, enabling us all to get out of the village safely with dry feet!
Village organisations are already giving their support, but we would like also to receive support from individuals please.
Contact Cynthia Floud, Chair, Haddenham Safe Walking & Cycling Group tel. 291086, email firstname.lastname@example.org to give your support to this project, so we can make it happen.