Oundle Town Council and Transition Oundle have shared an aspiration to improve cycling in Oundle for some time, and have now moved closer to realising a plan for a cycle network that will run through the town. The feasibility design for the first phase, known as Oundle Cycleway 1, has been commissioned, with plans for the network to be built in the coming months.
Oundle Town Council has £130,000 of Section 106 funds available to build cycleways, and the funds have to be spent by September 2020. At the end of last year, David Wood from Transition Oundle, and Councillor Jerry Hutton met with Northamptonshire Highways to discuss the proposals.
Two routes have been identified for potential early implementation of the cycle network. The first route will run from the west end of the Creed Road estate and Wentworth Drive, and will use existing cycle tracks to allow young cyclists and parents to travel safely towards the primary school. A new two-way shared-use pedestrian cycle route would be created using the existing footway on Cotterstock Road. This route would be about a mile long.
The second route runs from the west of town on Benefield Road, allowing young and adult cyclists to travel to the centre at the top of New Street. A new two-way shared-use pedestrian cycle route would be created using the existing footway and verges. Cyclists can then travel to the north of town along Glapthorn Road to Wentworth Drive, along another two-way shared-use pedestrian cycle route linked to the town centre on New Street.
The 2014 Oundle Neighbourhood Plan questionnaire reported that eighty-six percent of respondents walk and thirty-four percent cycle weekly. The survey highlighted that Oundle residents value access to the countryside, and that improved access around the town is important.
The Oundle Cycle Network study was conducted by Sustrans in 2015, and took the findings of the transport study further. It outlined a framework of cycle and pedestrian routes within and around the town which can be enhanced, added to and linked together over time to deliver a safe and comprehensive network.
This will aim to help reduce the reliance on cars for short trips, reduce congestion and parking issues in the town centre, and increase the health and physical activity of the community.