Budget cuts will not scupper Staffordshire cycle routes says council

Council denies report it will scrap plans for routes linking with NCN

by Mark Appleton   January 19, 2011  

National Cycle Network sign © Simon MacMichael.jpg

Staffordshire County Council has denied a report in the Burton Mail that it has dropped plans to fund the creation of safe cycle routes in Horninglow due to budget cuts.

A network of cycle paths was due to be brought on stream this year, providing safe routes for cyclists including those who need encouragement to make cycling part of their routine.

But local councillor Julian Mott, representing the Horninglow ward on East Staffordshire Borough Council, told the Mail: “We have been told that despite years of planning there is just no money in this year’s budget for the proposed cycle routes in Horninglow.

“This is a big shame as this has been in the planning stages for a number of years. It would have linked up the two campuses of de Ferrers Academy, Burton’s Queen’s Hospital and in the end to National Cycle Route 54.

“This has been probably planned for the past four to five years and to hear that it won’t happen in the fifth year is disappointing. At the end of the day cycling is good for people and it is also helps reduce traffic and congestion.

“It gets them out of cars and lessens the impact on the environment. It is also a healthy activity and is a great aid in the fight against obesity. Also without safe routes people will just not want to get on a bike.

“The cost of a cycle route is far less than the cost of new roads and even road repairs.
Sadly Burton lags behind other towns in its provision for cyclists and we will press for cycle routes in Horninglow to be reinstated.”

But Edward Healey from Sustrans said: "The Council are intent on delivering this network of routes in Burton which will link to NCN Route 54.

"However, due to budget cuts they will not be delivering quite as much this financial year as they had hoped to, but the aim is to continue with the project into the next year.

"It's great that despite facing cuts, they are still committed to unlocking the potential for much more local travel in Burton by foot or by bike."

Elsewhere in the Burton-upon-Trent area, the Eton Park cycle route linking the National Cycle Route 54 to the local routes in the town was completed in autumn last year.