The official opening of a Wivenhoe Cyclist and Pedestrian path went ahead last Wednesday, with many supporters present to witness the event, including the Mayor of Colchester. The project, which cost £1.88 million, took a number of months before completion. Taking longer than planned, the road caused issues for Wivenhoe residents, students and university staff members.
The beginning of the cycle path, located next to the University campus, filled up with local residents and Colchester council representatives. Theresa Higgins, Mayor of Colchester, was also at the ceremony to open the road with her husband with their bicycles. Being cyclists themselves they are positive about the outcome for the town. “Although there was controversy on how long the road was closed for, ultimately it’s an asset to the area”, says the Mayor.
The University has played a major role in the funding for the new path, providing £250,000 towards the cost of the works. Bryn Morris, university registrar also attended the event. “It really is the result of lots of long hard work by the University, working collaboratively with the county council, the borough council and the town council actually to see this come to fruition.”, he says. Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation Rodney Bass gave a speech at the ceremony. “I’m sure it will bring a cycling dimension, which I know the university wanted, and we certainly want. I was accused of being anti-cyclist,” Bass said.
The road links with the Wivenhoe Trail, which connects the University of Essex and the town along Colchester Road, providing a scenic route for cyclists and pedestrians to travel around the area. Lola, a local resident and also a member of staff at the university explained how dangerous it was before the cycle path to commute around. “I love cycling through the countryside, but the primary thing for me is safety, I’m not really comfortable cycling on the roads so to have this cycle path put in place is very positive,” she says.