Safe Cycling to Thame?

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Haddswac Group

Residents put pressure on Bucks Council over Haddenham-Thame Greenway — after over twenty years, a chink of light?

A group of residents attended Bucks Council's Transport, Environment and Climate Change select committee on 1st February 2024 to make the case for the urgent creation of a two-mile safe, off-road link between the neighbouring communities, Haddenham and Thame, for cyclists, walkers and wheelers. Led by Haddenham Safe Walking and Cycling group (HaddSWAC), they called on cabinet member for transport, Steve Broadbent, to commit to concrete progress within the year.

Whilst Cllr Broadbent was unable to make any commitments on timescale, he assured the meeting that the project 'remains an active piece of work', acknowledging the strong local support and convincing business case for the active travel route, as well as confirming his personal desire to see it built.

Whilst this is very encouraging, what appears to be missing is a sense of urgency. Haddenham has been campaigning for this vital infrastructure for well over 20 years and it is identified as an urgent priority of Haddenham neighbourhood plan and the emerging Thame plan.

Attesting to the longevity of the campaign, the group attending the meeting included the current and two former chairs of HaddSWAC, who have made the case passionately over the years. Whilst HaddSWAC acknowledges the many complexities of the project — not least the need for two county councils to cooperate — it is determined to seize on the current momentum and see the greenway built without delay.

"It is understandable that the council is wary of making commitments given the complexity of the project,
but we will not take no for answer. There are currently no safe routes out of the village, so anyone wanting
to make what would otherwise be an easy cycle trip to Thame is forced to take their life in their hands and
contend with dangerous 60 mph roads including the busy A418. This is not acceptable for our children,
many of whom go to school in Thame," said Alan Thawley, chair of HaddSWAC and local parish councillor.

"We are pleased that Cllr Broadbent is devoting some of his department's very stretched resources to our
project, and that he appears to be a strong advocate for active travel generally. We hope we can harness
this enthusiasm to ensure the scheme moves to the next stage without delay," he added.

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