Local travel champions, Sustrans staff, Swindon Borough Council and members of the public – on their bikes and walking – attended the unveiling of Sustrans new cycle path and portrait bench art on Thursday 21 March.
The new route transforms the commute to South Marston Business Park which has previously been too dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians due to heavy traffic.
By linking South Marston Business Park to the great network of cycle routes already in Swindon, commuters and the public will have a safer, easier and more pleasant route to walk and cycle to work and town.
The cycleway also features one of Sustrans portrait benches commemorating local heroes from the community. Swindon’s portrait bench celebrates the fantastic history of the town, commemorating a Spitfire pilot of the former Vickers Armstrong Aircraft Factory, a female track worker to recognise the vital work undertaken by women in the railway works.
A worker from nearby Arkell’s Brewery, the oldest business in Swindon which is celebrating its 170th anniversary in 2013, is also depicted.
The sculpture also has a particular resonance for brewery managing director James Arkell, above. His father, who was MD before him, was a World War II pilot,
Alistair Millington, Sustrans’ Area Manager said: ”The Highworth Road is so hazardous for cyclists that some employers had told their staff not to cycle to work.”
“The new path means that now more people can leave their cars at home to get to South Marston Business Park, starting and finishing the working day with a healthy and exhilarating commute by bike or on foot.”
“Walking and cycling are cheap and healthy options for commuters so its great news that people now have the choice about the way they travel to work.”
Councillor Keith Williams, from Swindon Borough Council, said: “This new stretch of path is an excellent addition to the comprehensive network around Swindon, and has come about through brilliant cooperation between local businesses, Sustrans, the local members and residents and the council.”
Above, cyclist Sharon Brentnall relaxes on the new Portrait Bench near the Honda Factory and the South Marston Industrial Park in Swindon.
Below, James Arkell admiring the representation of one of his brewery staff
Photos: Richard Wintle www.calyxpix.com