St Albans’ Verulamium Park cycle path opens

A LONG-awaited cycle path across a St Albans park was opened yesterday by the Mayor and enthusiastic pedallers.

St Albans Mayor, Cllr Eileen Harris, joined councillors and members of St Albans Cycle Campaign in cycling along the route from King Harry Lane to the Fighting Cocks across Verulamium Park.

But some disability activists are still concerned that the humps along the cycle path, designed to stop cyclists going too fast, could cause problems for people with mobility issues.

The path is for shared use and allows both cyclists and pedestrians to use it on designated sides.

St Albans District Access Group (STDAG) chairman Robert Hill said the humps, which span the width of the whole path, may adversely affect the disabled. He explained: “The specially constructed waves [humps] on The Causeway will inconvenience and probably aggravate any physical disability for anyone in a wheelchair or mobility scooter.”

He warned they could present, “concealed hazards for the infirm and disabled”.

But St Albans council leader Julian Daly said disability campaigners had been shown plans about a year ago and had raised no objection.

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He also said the markings were not finished yet and that they would be completed when the weather improved.

At present only the pedestrian side of the “shared use” route is marked to warn of the approaching humps.

Cllr Mike Weaver, who walks with the aid of two walking sticks, did not share disability campaigners’ concerns and said he experienced no difficulty travelling the route.

He commented: “All in all, I have to say it’s working quite well. I just have to watch where I’m stepping.”

The stretch of cycle path which opened this week is the first phase of a larger project to make Verulamium Park more cycle-friendly.

Plans to resurface the second stretch of the cycle-path, between Westminster Lodge and St Michael’s, are currently being tendered but the council says it is not expected to require the same degree of engineering as the first stretch.

The opening of the cycle path follows pressure from St Albans Cycle Campaign, which submitted a 1,000-strong petition to the council to improve facilities and safety for cyclists, and is funded by contributions from the developers of the King Harry Park development.

Cllr Daniel Chichester-Miles, the council’s portfolio holder for environment on St Albans council, said: “After many years, cyclists and park users are able to cycle through Verulamium Park.”