Go-ahead for greenway link to Waddesdon
The vision for a new 'greenway' linking Aylesbury with Waddesdon came closer to reality this week. Planning consent has been given to the two-and-a-half mile walking and cycling trail.
Work on laying the 10ft wide path, largely following the route of the old Roman Akeman Street, will start in Spring and be completed by Summer.
Linking Aylesbury Vale Parkway station with Waddesdon village, the greenway trail will allow cyclists and walkers to travel across beautiful countryside in a traffic-free environment, and provide access for them to Waddesdon Manor.
It's the outcome of a £1 million partnership between Buckinghamshire County Council, the Greenways and Cycle Routes charity, the Cycle Rail Working Group and the Waddesdon Estate.
The trail, connecting with other cycle routes and footpaths in Aylesbury Vale, is being funded by the Department for Transport as part of a scheme to connect rural communities to their nearest rail station.
Aylesbury, which 12 years ago was chosen by the government as a cycling demonstration town, will be the first section in the country to be completed.
One of its key advocates, local County Councillor and Deputy Transport Cabinet Member Paul Irwin, said: "Aylesbury Vale Parkway station isn't far from Waddesdon, but the heavy A41 traffic makes it nigh on impossible for people to walk or cycle between the two.
"This shared footpath and cycleway will make for an easy and safer cycle ride and a lovely walk. It'll open up our beautiful countryside to more visitors not only by train from Aylesbury and further afield, but also more locally from the Berryfields estate."
Preparation work is already well-advanced, following a public consultation in Spring 2016 where the scheme gained 100% local support. Designs for the scheme have been drawn up and licences agreed with landowners.
Project designer John Grimshaw, of the Greenways and Cycle Routes charity, said: "We're immensely proud to be involved in designing this trail. It has all the potential to be a high-quality trailblazer for rural routes between villages and local rail stations."
Mark Shaw, County Council Deputy Leader and Transport Cabinet Member said: "The new greenway trail is a great opportunity to promote sustainable travel and increase rail patronage, as well as stimulate patronage for the Manor."
Mark said sustainable travel was one of the main principles of a Garden Town, a status awarded to Aylesbury last year.
IN THE PICTURE With the route plan: John Grimshaw, Jack Mayhew (County Council Growth and Strategy Officer), Pippa Shirley (Head of Collections and Gardens at Waddesdon Manor), Caroline Levett (Greenways and Cycle Routes) and Deputy Cabinet Member Paul Irwin