Safer cycling route between Audley End station and Saffron Walden is coming


- Credit: Archant

It has taken 30 years but Saffron Walden is finally going to get a safe cycling and pedestrian route between the town centre and Audley End station.

Access Walden campaigners rang in the new year in style after receiving confirmation from Essex County Council (ECC) that the authority will give the go-ahead for a cycle and footpath along Wenden Road.

At a meeting last week, ECC’s cabinet member for highways maintenance and small scheme delivery, Eddie Johnson, approved the scheme following a public consultation that took place earlier this year.

The final, formal sign-off is expected next Monday, with the aim to implement the scheme within the current financial year.

James Savage, spokesman for Access Walden, which was set up three years ago to further push for a safer cycling and pedestrian route first called for in the early 80s, welcomed the news.

He said: “Approval of the cycle and footpath along the Wenden Road marks a significant step towards a safer, healthier community in and around Saffron Walden. It means improved safety for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.”

However, the group, which in 2011 garnered the support of nearly 1,000 people in a demonstration outside Uttlesford District Council’s (UDC) offices, still say a lot more investment into cycle infrastructure is needed.

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Mr Savage added: “With central government encouraging councils to help create a cycling revolution across the UK, It is time for ECC and UDC to invest seriously in cycle infrastructure.”

Uttlesford District councillor Alastair Walters said: “Uttlesford’s Local Highways Panel, of which I am chairman, has always been fully in support of this cycle path scheme.

“Members of the district council agreed some months ago that once the scheme has been finally signed off by ECC’s cabinet member for highways maintenance, sufficient funding would be made available to enable the installation work to proceed as soon as possible.”

The scheme, to be paid for by UDC through developer contributions, will cost in the region of £200,000.