BBC One programme to look into legacy of Tour de France and cycling provision in Saffron Walden

Campaign group Access Walden sent a message to councils during the Tour de France, asking for more c

Campaign group Access Walden sent a message to councils during the Tour de France, asking for more cycle paths in Saffron Walden to create a legacy. Picture: Gareth Davies/SnapMediaProductions - Credit: Gareth Davies/SnapMediaProductio

Two months on from Saffron Walden, Uttlesford and Essex hosting the Tour de France a BBC One programme will ask whether councils in the area are doing enough to ensure a meaningful legacy from the Tour.

The current affairs programme Inside Out, which airs on Monday (September 8) at 8pm, poses the question: ‘Thousands of people turned out to watch the Tour de France when it raced through Cambridgeshire and Essex. Will that interest in cycling lead to more cycle paths?’

The programme looks at the state of cycling and role of the council in Cambridge, and contrasts this with the absence of provision across the county boundary in Saffron Walden, where campaign group Access Walden has been trying to persuade town, district and county councils to build a single cycle path between Saffron Walden and Audley End train station.

James Savage, spokesperson for Access Walden, said: “We are two months on from the Tour, and nearly two years into an interminable process initiated by Uttlesford District Council (UDC) and led by Essex County Council (ECC) to approve and build one cycle route that, according to their own timetable, should have been open for use by summer 2014. But isn’t.

“This kind of glacial progress on just one scheme calls into question whether ECC has the political will and competency to create a cycling legacy across the whole of Essex. UDC doesn’t fare much better – the section of its Local Plan on cycling has no firm commitments.”

He added: “If ECC wants to demonstrate its commitment to a legacy for all – including those of us in rural areas like Uttlesford – it should approve and implement the Wenden Road cycle scheme promptly.

“We hope by shining a spotlight on the paucity of provision in our corner of Essex, the BBC programme will jolt our councils into action.”