Work on Alban Way ‘ineffective’, says cycling campaigner

Narrow path on Alban Way

Narrow path on Alban Way - Credit: Archant

A former cycling campaigner has claimed that work to widen a popular cycling route is “ineffective” despite signposts that are now in place.

Narrow path on Alban Way

Narrow path on Alban Way - Credit: Archant

Work to widen the Alban Way, a 3m shared footpath and cycleway that runs adjacent to Morrisons in Hatfield Road, got underway in October.

A new oak-sleeper retaining wall and fence were put in place to widen the path by 0.5m and signs installed over the last few weeks warning cyclists of the path narrowing.

But Peter Wares, of Ramsbury Road, St Albans, said trees which obstructed the path should have been removed to make it more accessible.

He said: “It should have been widened by 2m as 0.5m is not enough. It is going to be even more used when it becomes part of the planned Green Ring route.

“Some people feel we shouldn’t be chopping down the trees as they are oak and are of some value but they will still have to come down in a few years’ time because the problem is going to get worse.

“The trees will continue to grow out across the path, which will inevitably lead to further narrowing and I feel at least one of the trees should have been removed as a compromise.

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“I know it is an expense but it will have to come down in the future.”

He added that people would not be put off using the path as it was an invaluable route to get away from the road but it fell short of the “minimum standard of a shared path”.

However leader of St Albans district council, Julian Daly, said: “There is a compromise between protecting the trees and encouraging people to use the footpath.

“I frequently use it as a cyclist and have never encountered a problem with it being too narrow and I would think this is common sense as a cyclist.

“The more people we can get exercising and off the roads and onto the footpath the better, which is why the Green Ring scheme is a joint venture between the district council and Herts county council.”

He acknowledged that the path wasn’t “perfect” but the project would bring improvements to the route.