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County backpedals in helping cyclists
By

CAMPAIGNERS are frustrated at the lack of action to encourage cycling in , in contrast to other towns which are taking radical steps.

Liz Rutherford of the Cycle Campaign said: "In Aylesbury, the council is putting in cycling infrastructure.

"They have targets to meet as to how much they are increasing cycling.

"They got permission to cycle through the path in a ten-minute meeting here it has been going on for 20 years.

"The whole facilities of the council are behind it, officers and members that isn't happening here."

London has seen a 50 per cent rise in cycling in five years and use of the National Cycling Network jumped 15 per cent last year.

Ms Rutherford and other local campaigners met district council cabinet member Mike Ellis for last week's National Bike Week.

As well as their long-standing desire to be allowed into Verulamium Park, they point to the lack of bike racks in the newly-reconstructed St Peter's Street and at City Station.

Ms Rutherford said: "There are 400 cycles at the station every day. If there were 1,000 cycle spaces, they would get filled. People have stopped going there because there are not enough places."

Her group, which trumpets the advantages of bicycles in fighting congestion and improving air quality, is also calling for advance-stop lines at traffic lights, particularly at a new set planned for the junction of Station Road and Hatfield Road.

A National Cycling Network route through from south to north has just been defined, but as it cannot go through the park it follows a complex route through residential streets, which campaigners say is very unsatisfactory.

A district council spokesman said that there was widespread opposition from residents to the idea of cycling in Verulamium Park, and the authority was waiting for an approach from the county council before considering the matter again.

A county council spokesman said advance stop lights would be provided at parts of the two Station Way junctions Hatfield Road and Victoria Street as part of the proposed housing development on the car park, but it would be unsafe to provide them for the whole junctions.

She added that a cycle path along the London Road pavement between Drakes Drive and Grosvenor Road is planned for next year at a cost of £100,000.

9:14am†Friday†30th†June†2006

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