Nine year old campaigning for Wheathampstead cycle path

PUBLISHED: 12:01 18 November 2011

Ella at the place where the cycle track ends with mum Jo, sister Lottie aged 7 and brother Jonny aged 4

Ella at the place where the cycle track ends with mum Jo, sister Lottie aged 7 and brother Jonny aged 4

WHILE most people are keen to avoid council bureaucracy, a plucky nine year old from Wheathampstead is challenging the extension of a cycle path so fellow young villagers are not forced to walk along a dangerous road to school.

Ella Ashcroft has organised a petition and collected about 130 signatures, calling on St Albans district council to open the rest of the cycle path between Cherry Tree Lane and Wheathampstead.

The petition will be presented at next Wednesday’s full council meeting, with a spokeswoman for the authority saying Ella was probably the council’s youngest petitioner.

Her mum, Jo, said Ella and other children walked along Lower Luton Road to schools including St Helen’s Primary in the village.

She said: “It’s an awful road because cars go fast and when it rains the spray is terrible. There is a cycle track between Cherry Tree Lane and the village and it stops one mile from Wheathampstead. It runs parallel to the road.”

Ella has asked for the rest of the cycle path to be opened from the lane, near Leasey Bridge, right through to the village.

She wrote out what she wanted to do and has won support from villagers including Chris Oxley, a former district councillor for Wheathampstead.

He said that while he did not initiate the petition, many local families had expressed interest in it as Lower Luton Road was considered too dangerous for cyclists and young pedestrians.

Chris added: “As far as I’m aware from the 19 years I had as a councillor there has never been a petitioner as young as Ella.”

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