Building and maintaining traffic free cycle paths should be a national priority in this country? But it is not, why? There’s huge sections of national government in this country that extols the benefits of cycling for reducing obesity and type 2 diabetes levels, reduces pollution, congestion and all those other good things and yet there is no investment. Even the wiltshire cycling strategy provides a detailed list of advantages of cycling and the respective cost savings to the country. Lets look at the local situation
The traffic free cycle path between Chippenham and Calne, that’s part of the Sustrans route 403 is under threat as Wiltshire council wants to save money by not renewing the leases on the land the cycle path occupies.
The route 403 to the west of Chippenham on Easton Lane could be diminished as a viable route as the Hunters Moon development of 400 houses will have direct access onto it. As part of the Hunters Moon development a new cycle path will be made between the development and the Pheasant roundabout a distance of about 300yds. There is no provision for getting across the roundabout the the cycle lanes there after are intermittent
Hunters Moon is not the only housing development in the area. There are at least 3 in Chippenham and a number in Corsham but there is little or no attempt to add traffic free cycling provision or prioritise cycling.
So lets add climate change to this as Transport is now the biggest contributor to climate change in this country and is increasing. With more houses and less cycle provision there will be more cars and hence more pollution.
Wiltshire Council has declared a climate emergency but does not have either the resources or the political will to deal with the issue. Meanwhile national government spends £30B on the roads that includes £4.5M on 800 yrds of dual carriageway on the A350 around Chippenham.