Cycle route linking airport to county communities is re-opened to public
PUBLISHED: 09:50 28 May 2018
A section of the national cycle network linking Stansted Airport with communities across Essex has reopened after an £800,000 upgrade.
Cyclists can enjoy a safe and scenic route across a busy motorway thanks to the Highways England project to restore the mile-long route between Birchanger village and the airport.
When work started in December, cyclists commuting to the airport were having to navigate junction 8 of the M11, and were often put off using what was little more than a dirt track that formed part of National Cycle Network Route 16.
Upgrading the route involved resurfacing sections to a smooth pavement, erecting new signage, and clearing overhanging vegetation to provide a traffic-free way from Birchanger Lane.
The 10,000 hours of work on the project also involved embedding energy-efficient solar stud lights and ‘give way’ signage for horse riders and cyclists where there are concealed turns.
The improvements to the route were part of an £11 million package of works on the M11, which also included road and bridge repairs on the motorway and the A11, and were also a part of Highways England’s commitment to improving facilities for riders through its cycling fund.
Highways England project manager Karl Brooks said: “We did this work to provide a more attractive route for cyclists, who have been using the junction 8 roundabout due to the state of the cycle path.
“This new path now offers an attractive and much safer route for users, including Stansted Airport staff, students of the new Stansted Airport College, Birchanger residents, and many more.”
Stansted Airport employee and path user Chris Wiggan said: “As a regular user of the cycle routes around the airport this is a vast improvement and will make accessing the airport from my home in Bishop’s Stortford and other surrounding villages like Birchanger and Stansted Mountfitchet a hell of a lot more pleasurable than navigating junction 8.”
Responsibility for maintaining the bridleway and cycle path will now transfer to Essex County Council.