New cycle path for Stowmarket
PUBLISHED: 21:00 11 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:10 03 March 2010
PLANS for a new cycle path between Stowmarket and Needham Market have been branded "a waste of money" - but councillors have nevertheless given the green light to the £15,000 scheme.
PLANS for a new cycle path between Stowmarket and Needham Market have been branded "a waste of money" – but councillors have nevertheless given the green light to the £15,000 scheme.
The path will run alongside the B1113 – parallel to an existing route that Suffolk County Council only repaired two years ago for the use of cyclists and pedestrians.
At a meeting of Mid Suffolk's executive committee, councillor Chris Glass said that the scheme was "a waste of money from the point of view of changing it [the cycle path] to the other side."
But the existing path on the eastern side of the road is not a purpose-built cycle path, argue council officials, and it only accommodated cyclists as an emergency measure when the government introduced £20 on-the-spot-fines for cycling on footpaths.
In a bid to incorporate the new route to form the Oxford to Felixstowe run on the new National Cycle Network, environmental transport lobby group Sustrans approached Mid Suffolk District Council to contribute towards the costs of the cycle path, which is expected to cost a total of £15,000.
Other money is expected to come in the form of a Landfill Tax grant but the application contains a condition of third party funding of 10 per cent.
David Benham, Mid Suffolk District Council's regeneration manager, said the plan pointed to the council's committment to reducing dependence on the car.
"Public transport is not as it should be in some areas because we are in a rural area but we want to ensure that people can cycle safely."
Councillors also pledged £1800 for a study to develop a similar link between the villages of Woolpit and Elmswell, near Stowmarket.