This may come as a surprise to some but Swindon BUG have opposed the building of a new shared cycle/pedestrian path in Covingham.
That sounds like MPs voting against a pay-rise for themselves doesn’t it?
The council opened up a consultation about building a new path to run along the northern side of Covingham Drive. In their defence, the up-side was that it was forward planning for the eventual Eastern Villages development and BUG is very much a supporter of putting infrastructure in place before building the houses.
However, we asked ourselves two important questions as we looked at the plans and spoke to officials from the council. 1) Will this make cycling better and safer for existing cyclists and 2) Will it encourage more people to cycle?
We had to say that the answer to both of these questions was ‘no’.
The cost was £660,000 and is coming from the money recently secured from central government to provide infrastructure to support the new development east of the A419 so you may start to realise why we oppose it.
There will be work done on building an Eastern Flyer from The White Hart roundabout into town using Oxford Road, Drakes Way and other existing paths. Our preference would be to make sure that this route is as good as it can be so diverting funds away to Covingham Drive would be detrimental to this scheme. Also, we believe that money could be spent on lots of small projects at various junctions and other pinch points around Swindon to make cycling even safer for more people.
Hopefully now, BUG’s opposition to this scheme seems a little more rational. www.swindonbug.co.uk