Greenways will help South Cambridgeshire residents get on their bikes
A proposed network of 12 cycling 'Greenways' branching out from Cambridge has secured financial backing from City Deal and support from the county council.
South Cambridgeshire has been identified as having the fourth highest levels of cycle commuting in the UK, despite its rural setting. Investment in Greenways is set to bolster these levels even further, with aims to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution in the city.
Consultation has revealed much demand for new and improved cycle routes in the district – routes that are safe, direct and attractive.
The City Deal committed £480,000 to the Greenways scheme. Further funding is expected from future developments in Greater Cambridge.
Francis Burkitt, vice chair of the City Deal board, said: “What this money does is effectively pays for recruitment of more officers so that rather than do absolutely nothing on the project until tranche two or three years’ time, we can do some preparatory work now so that when big money comes through we will have some of these projects shovel-ready.”
Six of the 12 Greenways would be delivered initially and the other six would follow.
Greenways funding is unlikely to be spent in the north west of the city as developments and A14 improvements are to include improved cycle provision.
There has been some disagreement regarding the width of the paths.
The Cambridge Cycling Campaign has backed wider, more ambitious routes, while some residents have displayed some concern about such ‘urbanisation’ of the countryside.
Benefit to cost analysis is being undertaken, as are plans to maintain the routes, which could rely on volunteer rangers.
Although the City Deal has funded the design phase, the Greenways could cost as much as £20 million. This could be funded by City Deal post 2020.