St Albans Green Ring cycling and walking route officially opened
- Credit: Picture: JAMIE HART
The Green Ring cycling and walking route around St Albans has been officially opened today.
The 6.5 mile route extends from Townsend in the north to Fleetville in the east, Sopwell in the south and the Verulam estate to the west.
Deputy mayor Brian Gibbard, who opened the ring, said: “The Green Ring is a fantastic new feature for our city and I urge everyone to take full advantage of it.
“It was a considerable challenge to link and enhance existing paths and cycle ways as well as create new ones to provide one continuous route.
“I am delighted all the various problems and obstacles encountered have been overcome and it is now complete.
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“Residents can now enjoy a relaxing walk or cycle in the fresh air without worrying about the traffic, or they can simply use the route to commute around the city.”
The opening was also attended by children from Bernards Heath Junior School and members of the St Albans Cycling Campaign (SACC).
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Assisting Cllr Gibbard was St Albans district council’s portfolio holder for community Salih Gaygusuz.
Cllr Gaygusuz said: “The Green Ring is a great example of partnership working with ourselves, the county council and their Countryside Management Service all coming together to deliver this marvellous project.
“It very much fits with our strategy of getting people out of their cars, and making cycling and walking a first choice when it comes to travelling short distances. This reduces traffic congestion, air pollution and inspires people to get healthy exercise.”
The Green Ring cost more than £1 million and was funded by both the district and county councils and a Department for Transport grant.
Some 13 green spaces are connected by the ring as are at least nine schools, play areas and parks.
Chair of the Community, Environment and Sport Scrutiny Committee of St Albans district council, Anthony Rowlands said: “The Green Ring is an important addition to our local cycle network.
“However, a great deal more needs to be done to improve facilities for cyclists in St Albans. Both county and district councils must take an active lead going forward.”