THOUSANDS of people will be able to cycle and walk from Cambridge to the National Trust property Wicken Fen thanks to a £600,000 investment by Sustrans’ Connect2 project.
On Wednesday, the £2million scheme to connect the university town to Wicken Fen will draw a step closer when Sustrans and its Connect2 partner, the National Trust, sign the paperwork guiding development for the coming years.
The £600,000 from the Big Lottery Fund, as part of Sustrans Connect2, will be combined with investment from other sources, including the Housing Growth Fund.
The agreement commits the partners to completing the network of traffic-free paths and quiet roads which will connect walkers and cyclists from the city to the countryside and the heart of the Wicken Vision area.
The walking and cycling network will also link villages on the edge of the Vision area dramatically enhancing access by the construction of new bridges over the manmade waterways known as Lodes.
Over the next few years further work will be done at Reach and Burwell Lodes and also to improve links with Waterbeach and Anglesey Abbey itself.
The newly finished Swaffham Bulbeck Lode Bridge is an essential part of the route and already offers opportunities for circular routes linking with Anglesey Abbey. A second bridge - the Reach Lode Bridge – is being designed now, its opening scheduled for 2010.
Chris Soans from the National Trust says: “This project will provide an essential link for walkers and cyclists alike and will help us try and minimise the impact of car traffic in the area where we have two very popular properties. At the same time it will significantly enhance access to a vast area of open countryside."
Joan Lonsdale, Chairman of Burwell Parish Council, who sits on the Steering Group,
says: “The scheme is making it easier to access some fascinating areas of countryside for our communities to enjoy and I am very pleased to be involved in the project”.
Sustrans’ Connect2 project manager, Tim Temple says: “In this era of concerns about the health of individuals and our environment, enabling more journeys to be made by foot and bike can only benefit our community.”
For further information about Sustrans and Connect2, visit the website: www.sustrans.org.uk