‘Legal processes’ are blamed as cyclists await completion of new route linking villages
PUBLISHED: 12:30 24 August 2017
People living near a ‘dangerous and unsafe’ cycle route are calling for it to be completed after months of delays while legal processes are finalised.
A questionnaire about the Needingworth to Bluntisham cycleway, issued by Cambridgeshire County Council, found that the vast majority of people were not using the route because it hadn’t been finished.
Of the 45 people who answered the questionnaire, 93 per cent said they didn’t use the route, with 25 of those saying it was due to its incompleteness.
As part of the questionnaire, respondents were asked what their main concerns were and 65 per cent stated that they “felt unsafe to use it due to its current state”.
One respondent added: “It is not finished and the most dangerous parts (the old railway bridge and white bridge corner) prevent me from accessing the completed sections.”
Another said: “The gaps are the problem – I see no point in having an incomplete cycle path. As it stands it is just a white elephant and complete waste of taxpayers’ money.”
Work on the £740,000 cycle route began at the end of 2014 but, while delays continue, users have to leave the trail and ride into the road before getting back on.
“There is a point on the cycleway where it suddenly stops, forcing cyclists on to the road but there are no signs or road markings for cars or cyclists. This is really dangerous,” another respondent said.
However, some of those who answered the survey, and currently don’t use the cycleway, said that if changes were made it would make it more usable for them.
A spokesman for Cambridgeshire County Council said: “We’re aware of the concerns raised by local people about where the current cycleway temporarily stops, we will be carrying out a review into this to see if any improvements are required before the final phase is built.
“The work to build a shared footpath and cycleway from Needingworth to Bluntisham is being completed in phases, the first two are finished and we’re currently working through the final phase.
“This was due to be completed some time ago, but legal processes to enable the route to be constructed across private land are taking much longer than anticipated.”
The remaining work includes the filling of the old railway line and the construction of a new cycleway/footway bridge at white bridge corner, both of which involve privately-owned land.
The council expects the work to be completed by spring next year.