A new Misbourne Greenway route through the Chiltern Hills for cycling and walking is to be created thanks to a £1.6m grant from the government.
Sustrans, the walking and cycling charity, will be managing the £1.6 million funding, and the Chiltern Society is delighted to be a delivery partner.
The new traffic-free trail, due to be complete by 2022, will run parallel with the A413, linking towns and villages between Aylesbury and Uxbridge. The detailed route will be decided by the partnership which also inc;udes Buckinghamshire County Council, the Chiltern Conservation Board and the Greenways and Cycleroutes charity. It will use existing Rights of Way, some private land and quiet roads, providing a new tourism route for those wanting to enjoy the great outdoors
The new route will better link local communities with schools, businesses and railway stations making it far easier for people to walk and cycle for everyday journeys.
James Cleeton, England Director South at Sustrans, said: “Creating this new traffic-free route will open up so many options for active, sustainable travel in the area, with the associated benefits of cleaner air and healthier people. It will also provide a new tourism destination in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, giving more people cleaner access to the countryside.
“Improvement of the local walking and cycling network will also enable increased use by wheelchairs, mobility scooters, adapted cycles, pushchairs and cargo bikes. This is an important step towards our vision of creating paths for everyone on the National Cycle Network.”
Mark Shaw, Buckinghamshire County Council Deputy Leader and Transport Cabinet Member, said: “We’re great supporters of walking and cycling as ways to keep fit and healthy, and as an alternative to the car. This scheme is good news for our residents, and opens more ways for us all to enjoy Buckinghamshire’s beautiful countryside.”
Tom Beeston, Chiltern Society Chief Officer, said: “We’re excited to be working with Sustrans to increase access to this beautiful part of the world, ensuring that the route that’s developed is high-quality and sensitive to the needs of the different types of visitor to the Chilterns, and to the conservation of the area. This is an excellent opportunity to showcase the best of what the Chilterns has to offer.”
Sustrans will work together with local communities, schools and businesses to ensure that the route that is developed meets their needs. The charity recognises the importance of understanding people’s requirements in making the project a success.
The funding package from the Department for Transport follows Sustrans’ review of the National Cycle Network last year. The review led to the development of a new vision for the network: paths for everyone. Sustrans acknowledged that there are some significant problems with parts of the current network, for which the charity plays a custodian role, owning only 2% of the land that the Network covers.