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Here is the link http://chn.ge/1iO5EQU

Please sign our petition http://chn.ge/1iO5EQU

Over 160 people of all ages turned out for the inaugral Four Village Challenge last Sunday. Billed as a day for the casual and family cyclist, we rode between Bar Hill, Dry Drayton, Madingley and Coton. With an initial target of 10 miles, many went further because the English summer smiled on the event. The ride ended with a BBQ outside Madingley Village Hall. The event was sponsored by the Cambridge County Council and to promote cycling for all, especially in the run up to the Tour de France.

While it was organised as a fun day out, there was a serious motive – promoting the concept of a safe bike path to enable more casual cyclists cycle between the four villages and Cambridge. Edward Byam-Cook, one of the event’s organisers, said “The excellent turn-out and enthusiasm for this day out shows the latent demand for casual cycling. There is a real onus on local landowners and councils to meet this demand. Trinity College and the University have both agreed in principle to allow permissive paths on their land which neighbours the most dangerous parts of this route. We now need to step on the accelerator and make it become a reality.” Bunty Waters, local South Cambs District Councillor and another event organiser, commented ‘The community support for this bike route is quite clear. Interest in bicycling locally is strong and increasing. The local bodies need to put their heads together to come up with solutions.’

Thank you for all the support and coming along with so much enthusiasm for cycling. It was great fun!

Cycling Today

Cambridge is widely renowned as one of the UK’s major cycling cities. The network of cycle paths both in and around the city centre help to keep cyclists safe and reduce congestion on our busy roads.
In recent years the number of people cycling to work has grown enormously and increasing numbers of people are cycling in from the surrounding towns and villages. We would like to expand the current cycle path network to encourage this trend while keeping cyclists and other road users safe.

With this in mind, plans have been developed to provide a cycle link between Bar Hill, Dry Drayton, Madingley and the city centre. The majority of this route lies on land owned by Trinity College who have generously granted permission for this use. We would now like to encourage the remaining land owners to join Trinity in support of this route. We ask you to help us in this venture by signing our petition.

Project background / history
In 2008 the four parishes of BAR HILL, DRY DRAYTON, MADINGLEY and COTON decided to work together to create a new safe cycle path through the four parishes. Several bodies have been approached regarding this plan. All of the groups below have confirmed their support for the project:
Cambridgeshire County council
South Cambridgeshire District Council
Cambridge City Council
Sustrans
Cambridge past present and Future
Cambridge Cycling Campaign
We have been informed that some funding will be available for this cycle path. Once the legal agreements are signed we can approach funders with an assured route.

A new year and a fresh start for January 2014.

The bhddmadcycle organisation has joined forces with Facebook Cambridge Save Our Cyclists to get our message out to more people.

We are in the process of getting permission from major landowners along our proposed cycle route, for a safe off-the-road cycle path.

This path will start in Bar Hill and follow the current cycle path through to Dry Drayton where it will be taken along side the road all the way through to Madingley. Here there is no option but to ride on the road through the village with a marked path. The path will leave Madingley and follow along Cambridge road behind the American Cemetery a safe distance from the road. There are options along Cambridge road to meet up with the new development NW Cambridge. After leaving Cambridge road the path will continue into Coton, to meet with the current cycle path into Cambridge.

The cycle path is so important to protect the many cyclists who commute into Cambridge and the surrounding areas and also to promote safer greener cycling in the area.

Campaign Update

In July 2008 the parish councils of Bar Hill, Dry Drayton, Madingley and Coton joined forces to develop a cycle path to connect the existing cycle path between Bar Hill and Dry Drayton with the A1303 crossroads and Cambridge. A survey in March 2009 showed extensive use of the road between Madingley and the A1303 with over 1500 cars, 46 lorries, 126 vans, 12 buses and 24 motorbikes passing along it on a typical weekday. In addition 106 bicycles went by, and interviews with them as well as local residents and employees shows the latent demand for a bike route. A number of accidents, including fatal ones, have taken place on this stretch of road in the last few years. The rationale and the demand for a bike route are strong.

The bike group have had discussions with many local groups including  Cambridgeshire County Council, South Cambridgeshire District Council, Cambridge City Council, and all the relevant landowners. The University of Cambridge have kindly said that a permissive pathway can be put on their land between Dry Drayton and Madingley. And Trinity College have similarly agreed that the permissive path can go along the edge of their fields between Madingley and the A1303. These are significant and generous gestures. They will be developed in phases, with the Madingley to A1303 stretch happening first as it has historically been the more dangerous road.

There are two outstanding issues which remain to be solved. First financial support is needed to build the paths. Second there is a unique opportunity to link these two paths to the planned North West Cambridge development. An outline proposal for this development has been submitted by the University this autumn. The bike group are working hard to ensure that an additional permissive bike path can be put across Trinity College’s land to link to the University’s development. This will enable existing and new inhabitants of North West Cambridge to access the surrounding countryside and villages, including the attractions of The American Cemetery, Cambridge University’s 800 year wood and Madingley Hall.  It will also enable better access into Cambridge from several villages in South Cambridgeshire who currently have no safe, off road cycle paths.
The attached map shows how special these new paths will be if all the ideas come to pass. The steering group is confident lots more people will take to their bikes and walk or jog in the countryside, or cycle to work, when these routes become a reality.

In order to achieve these goals, we need to show public support. We know that it exists, but we will need proof. To show your support please e-mail supporters@bhddmadcycle.com with:
• your name
• address
• e-mail address
• telephone and
• any comments about the campaign

Below is a summary of our proposals, this link will take you to our full proposal (a 1.5 mb pdf). We welcome your views, which you can add as comments below.

 The aim of the initiative is to provide a safe, direct bicycle route linking west Cambridge to Bar Hill via Madingley and Dry Drayton by 2011. This route will supplement the other existing bike routes as well as those proposed as part of the A14 development.

A major objective in the planning has been to have the bicycle route off-road, i.e. the bike path separated from the road by either the hedge or the verge. This aim is physically achievable for most of the proposed route – the exception is in the centre of Madingley for which no easy alternative is obvious. Such a route would encourage use of facilities such as Madingley Hall, the new 800 Wood, the playground in Madingley and the pubs in Madingley and Dry Drayton.

The proposed path would have a high quality hoggin-like surface which is a compacted surface suitable for the type of path proposed here. A tarmac surface is preferable in many ways and the decision will be reconsidered once the demand and interest are known. It is important to note that the current bike lane from Hardwick to Cambridge is tarmac as will the proposed route from Bar Hill to Cambridge. The main priority is to have a safe route which would encourage new cyclists to use the route. A quotation for the construction of the bike route was for £180,000 + VAT.

There is a public demand for a bike lane. A survey of existing use of the lanes by bicycles was made in March 2009 revealing surprisingly high usage. In addition expressions of support have been received from a number of institutions in West Cambridge, as well as from individuals living in the concerned villages.

Preliminary discussions have been held with the relevant landowners whose support is essential for the proposed route. Contact was first made with landowners in mid-2008, and all expressed support in principle while making clear that actual support would depend on how the planned route would affect their land. Questions and /or objections have subsequently been raised by some landowners and this document, which gives a more detailed description of the plans to date has been prepared to allow informed discussion of these issues. The main concerns raised by the landowners to date are: (i) financial and operational impact on their operations; (ii) safeguarding mature trees; and (iii) how the path will be maintained. Some requests on the exact routing have been made at specific places along the route.

Natural England run an agri-environment scheme in which landowners receive support for the capital cost and the maintenance for an agreed period in return for giving public access to the route.This is an attractive option – it is landowner-led and leaves them with more control over the path in future. No legal transfer of title is required, saving money and time. Existing access schemes in the region provide valuable templates for developing one on this route. The project has also been discussed with relevant officials in Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC) who are responsible for Countryside Access, and the mixed-use scheme proposed here would be eligible for support through their programmes. In addition financial support for community facilities is available through the Donarbon and WREN community schemes. Taken together, these schemes would provide sufficient funds for the path to be built.

The next step is to get the support of the landowners for the concept and route of the bike path.After such support has been obtained, the process of finding funding can start in earnest.