Plans for a new cycle path between Long Wittenham, Clifton Hampden and the Culham Science Centre should be ready for discussion by the end of the year.
It’s part of a network of cycle-ways linking the Vale Science area at Harwell, Milton Park, Didcot and Culham. Nearly £5m of county council funding has been put aside with the aim of encouraging more people to get out of their cars and cycle to work.
The Didcot-Culham link would use the existing cycle path from Didcot to Long Wittenham but after the village the proposed scheme runs into engineering challenges and land issues.
The county council is investigating the possibility of a path running along the side of the road between Long Wittenham and the Barley Mow pub. The wooden walkway could be replaced by a raised section of path over the ditch.
In Long Wittenham the route would run through the High Street and cycle bypasses built around the humps and chicanes. Another idea that might be considered is to avoid the High Street and go along Fieldside – known locally as concrete road – and continue along the un-made stretch of Fieldside byway and re-enter the High Street opposite the church entrance.
Once over Clifton Hampden Bridge the route would go along High Street and into the one-way Forge Road before joining the main road towards Culham and Abingdon. A contraflow cycle path would be built alongside Forge Road for the return journey to Clifton Hampden.
After the meeting Long Wittenham representative Gordon Rogers said: “Talks about establishing a safe link to Clifton Hampden have been going on for years without much success. It’s been very frustrating but after our meeting with council officers and consultants we have been encouraged.”
“Something concrete is starting to emerge now and we have been told that plans for discussion should be ready by the end of the year. More work needs to be done however over design and costings before the plans are open for public debate.”
Clifton Hampden representative Glenn Pereira said: “It’s good to know that in order to provide the route from Didcot to the Culham Science Centre the development of a link from Long Wittenham to Clifton Hampden remains the preferred option.”
“This link has been assessed and obstacles noted by the consultants. It is clear the county council and consultants are prepared to do whatever is needed to overcome the obstacles and they will check the feasibility of the plans against costs.”
Richard Miller from Burcot said he felt the meeting had been “positive”. The cycle path committee had worked together and the county council officers and consultants had listened. He added: “I think they are on our side.”
The three local representatives met county council transport planner Ed Webster, Marie Kanayan from the council’s delivery team and civil engineering consultants Gareth Nurse and Andy Walford.