Plans for a new ‘cycle highway’ near Peterborough turned down

Councillors have turned down proposals for a new ‘cycle highway’ near Peterborough

Thursday, 1st July 2021, 7:12 am
Updated Monday, 5th July 2021, 12:03 pm
An artist's impression of the new steps with a rail for bikes that will replace the old steps
An artist's impression of the new steps with a rail for bikes that will replace the old steps

Peterborough City Council Planning Committee rejected an application for a ‘cycle highway’ that protestors claimed could have blighted daily life in the village of Sutton.

The application for a dual cycleway/pedestrian footpath from Sutton village across meadows to the Nene Valley Railway station at Stibbington, had been recommended for approval by council officers.

RELATED: Controversial cycle/pedestrian plans between Sutton and Nene Valley Railway recommended for approval
But a series of impassioned objections from locals swayed the decision on Tuesday (June 29), and the application was refused on the basis that it would unnecessary disruption to the village, and that the proposed cattle grids that the cycles would pass over could potentially cause a danger to horses who currently use the route as a bridleway.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The proposed cycle/path would have seen areas of the roads in Sutton tarmacked to allow the cyclists to speed through the village which, in most cases, has no existing footpaths, but simply quiet country lanes along which pedestrians, dog-walkers, horse-riders and cyclists currently share.

The cycle/path would have required several significant alterations along the route, including the introduction of so-called ‘animal friendly’ cattle grids – grids with narrower bars of 10cm, which apparently horses can pass over without concern.

But as it was pointed out to the committee, horse hooves are significantly smaller than 10cm, and so the potential for injury remained.

Speaking on behalf of the villagers was Me Mick Grange, who had led the successful battle against the A47 dualling developers a few years ago with his ‘Battle Bus’.

Mr Grange said: “There is a blind turn on Lovers Lane where these cyclists would be speeding through our village in their droves.

“The potential for accidents would be heightened enormously, and to suggest that areas of tarmac here and there will improve our pathways is ridiculous; all it will do is allow the cyclists to maintain their speed on what would otherwise be treacherous ground for them.

“It’s not that we’re NIMBY’s, everybody knows that already about the villagers of Sutton from our previous campaigns.

“We want greener transport routes as much as anybody else, and we totally support cycleways, pathways, pedestrian routes and bridleways as much as anybody else.

“However, this is simply a case of the wrong solution in entirely the wrong location.”

The members voted by majority to refuse the application.
At the same meeting members of the Planning Committee have approved (unanimously), an application for the conversion of a dwelling, into two flats and the erection of a fence and gate, at 42 Sherbourne Road, Dogsthorpe.