The new cycle/pedestrian route along Wenden Road has now been in place for 2 weeks, plenty of time to bed-in and get people talking. Access Walden has been listening to the many comments on social media, in the local papers, on the street and even in the pub. There has been some initial confusion over the signage and rights of way and we have heard comments about the lack of pedestrian facilities. There has also been much concern about many motorists contravening the one-way system.
We have learned from ECC that the scheme is still subject to a stage 4 safety audit which will give consideration to certain items including the lack of segregated footway. David Sprunt (Principal Transport Strategy & Engagement Officer) and Chris Stevenson (Head of Commissioning Connected Essex Integrated Transport) walked the route and have taken away a number of short and long term items, but these have not been detailed and will await completion of works which also includes the link over the B1383 along Station Road to the station (giving consideration to the protected verge) and also some additional works to link the cycleway to the footpath outside the school which will take place in the October half term holiday.
We share the concern regarding the many motorists ignoring the one-way system and we have spoken with the Police and ECC about this. We are hoping that this will stop, however if you witness further contraventions it is recommended you report this to ECC highways, though you might also wish to report this to the local Police via 101.
Though the scheme is not ideal and lacks many of the recommendations passed onto ECC by Access Walden, we feel that it offers a much safer route to and from the station, a feeling that is echoed through much positive feedback, mostly from cyclists who have ridden the route a few times. They say that after the initial confusion, they are now experiencing the benefits of a much quieter and safer ride.
Some other comments we have received this week –
A jogger to a cyclist: “I can now jog down here because they’ve made it safe at last”.
A commuter to a friend: “I have happily converted from bus to bike”
Annie, aged 10: “I cycled along Wenden Road with my Daddy on Saturday and felt very safe”
What do you think? Please offer your comments underneath and be sure to share this post among your friends and family.