£1/2 million plans unveiled to boost cycle paths in Castle Point following Olympic Games (From Echo)
Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us »
£1/2 million plans unveiled to boost cycle paths in Castle Point following Olympic Games
6:00am Friday 11th October 2013 in News
AMBITIOUS plans are in the pipeline to spend nearly £500,000 to improve cycle routes across Castle Point.
Proposals have been put forward by Castle Point Council’s local highways panel to bring the borough’s substandard cycle routes up to scratch after it hosted the Olympic mountain biking events in Hadleigh last year.
The £455,000 would be spent on: ! The creation of an entirely new cycle track between Rayleigh Weir and Benfleet rail station, via Victoria Road, costing £200,000, ! The completion of an east to west cycle route on Canvey, costing £175,000 ! Additional bike parking facilities at Benfleet rail station, costing £30,000.
Councillors also want an improved cycle route between Hadleigh Farm and Benfleet rail station, costing £50,000.
Councillor Steven Cole, a member of the highways panel, said the council needs to do better now Hadleigh Farm is scheduled to be turned into a worldclass mountain biking facility in 2015.
He said: “We need to make it safer for families to go out on their bikes.
“At the moment, the cycle routes are completely inadequate and people are scared to cycle.
“I am a keen cyclist and I only go out now at about 8pm when there’s less traffic.
“It is embarrassing not to have good cycling provisions.
“When the work at Hadleigh Farm is finished, people will be looking at Castle Point as having this world-class facility and with all the extra visitors we need to be prepared.
“Hopefully, Essex County Council will grant us this funding.”
Tory councillor Clive Walter agreed, claiming cyclists in Castle Point take their lives into their own hands every time they get on the saddle and take to the borough’s roads.
About 40,000 people flocked to Hadleigh Farm to watch the world’s elite mountain bikers take on the challenging Olympic course during the 2012 Games.
Cyclists and BMX riders have also welcomed the proposals.
Luke Farey, who runs BMX training company, Get Out There MTB, said: “Anything that supports cycling in the borough is a good thing.
“I think if there was proper cycle provision in Castle Point, then more people would have the confidence to get on their bikes.
“However, councillors really need to consult with local cycling groups before they build these cycle ways as there are routes already that have not been properly thought out and are actually quite dangerous.”
Sam Mashford, of Velo Virtuoso in High Street, Hadleigh, added: “The provision for cyclists in Castle Point is awful, and there is nothing to encourage people on to their bikes.
“There are no direct routes to link up local towns and people have to use roads like the A13 which is horrible.”
Comments are closed on this article.