The current edition of the Bishop’s Stortford Independent (29 November) features an article and editorial on the Town Council’s plan to contribute funds to support a new ‘cycle path’ connecting Grange Paddocks to the BS North developments. This initiative is currently the main focus of the Town Council’s Sustainable Transport Sub- Committee on which the BSDFA is a co-opted member.
The BSDFA is supportive of this initiative and the proposals for the Town Council to contribute £250k towards the estimated £800K costs of the project. The bulk of the funding will come from Section 106 planning obligations (£435k) and a £150k New Homes Bonus. Ideally, this important piece of infrastructure should have been put in place by the County Council – especially given its focus on achieving a ‘modal shift’ in local transport i.e. making decisions based on encouraging sustainable transport options ahead of car travel. Unfortunately, they have failed to invest locally to deliver the necessary infrastructure to back this up.
The emphasis in the local press has been on the new path being a cycle lane when in practice it will be largely used by pedestrians, providing a key off road link from the new housing developments to Grange Paddocks and the town centre. This is much needed as the current route along Rye Street requires pedestrians to walk narrow footways dangerously close to busy polluting traffic.
The path will also link to a new ‘Greenway’ that will be constructed by the BS North ‘Consortium’ along the route of the Bourne Brook and will connect Rye Street to the Farnham Road. This link will give pedestrians and cyclists traffic free access from the town centre to the extensive public rights of way network and quiet lanes to the north of Stortford.
There is still much to discuss and we’ll keep you updated on developments but please let me have any comments or questions in the interim.