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Opinion : Should cycling and walking be encouraged in High Wycombe?

| July 28, 2020


With reduced traffic on the road surely now is the time to make changes so cycling and walking are encouraged in the towns of the UK?

Indeed it seems plans are afoot to promote cycling and walking in Wycombe and other towns in Buckinghamshire.

You may have seen the articles that appeared in the news section of this site recently headed ‘Network of cycling and walking routes to be developed around High Wycombe‘ and ‘Six contenders announced for emergency active travel plan in Buckinghamshire‘.

It will be interesting to see what comes of the plans for new cycling and walking routes. Will our town end up with a truly useful network of cycle paths with sineage and road markings or will the plan result in no more than the production of a leaflet as a stepping stone to someone visiting the palace to receive a MBE?

Those who have lived in High Wycombe may remember that many years ago the town used to have an East / West cycling route. You can view the route at the following link (on an external website) : https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/1730022.

Sadly the recent redevelopment of Desborough Road has seen the loss of the ‘Cycling Route’ sineage (some of which is picture above) so anyone travelling along the road on a bicycle would be unaware they were on a cycle route.

It seems the powers that be in the capital are also looking at giving residents more control over traffic related issues as described in an article on a national news site headlined ‘Residents to get new decision-making powers in England cycling ‘revolution’‘.

In my opinion now is also the time for radical measures to be taken to rationalise the road network in Wycombe and make it safe and more efficient.

For example there are four ways to get to Downley, these being :

  • West Wycombe Road / Plomer Hill
  • West Wycombe Road / The Pastures
  • Hughenden Road / Hughenden Avenue
  • Hughenden Road / Coates Lane

Why not close access to Downley from Plomer Hill and Coates Lane? Just think how quicker traffic would flow along West Wycombe Road if the Plomer Hill junction was closed and traffic flowed only along West Wycombe Road with the traffic lights no longer being needed.

If the Coates Lane junction was closed it would be the end of the hold-ups in Hughenden Road when a vehicle coming from Hughenden is waiting turn turn up Coates Lane but is prevented from doing so by oncoming traffic.

There are so many ‘road rationalisations’ that could be done to help traffic flow better in other parts of town.

For example if Rutland Avenue was closed with junction of New Road it would stop cars using Castlefield as a shortcut to Cressex and the motorway. The reduction in speeding cars using the housing estate as a shortcut would make the roads safer for the children who live there as well as for cyclists and pedestrians.

Sadly the powers that be only seem interested in ‘improving’ existing roads such as the A40 which many feel don’t need ‘improving’ at all. The ‘improvements’ also seem to involve the installation of as any traffic lights as possible at junctions that didn’t need them before.

What do you think?

My blogs are published regularly here on the WycombeToday.com website.

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