Finchampstead parish councillor: “I said last year that cycle lane plans were too small”

Jim May in a photo from his May 2016 Finchampstead election campaign leaflet

A PARISH councillor has said that confusion over plans for a cycle lane in Finchampstead could have been avoided if more residents have been consulted first.

Jim May, who stood for election as a Liberal Democrat candidate in the May 2016 local elections, said he had raised the point that there wasn’t enough space for a joint footpath and cycle lane along Nine Mile Ride when the idea was first mooted.

Mr May, who sits on the Finchampstead Parish Council, said not enough people were consulted on the plans for the cycleway, which were sensationally shelved by Wokingham Borough Council this week.

Mr May said: “Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) only sought the opinions of a small number of people, mainly parents who had an interest in sending their children to the new Bohunt School, possibly 200 people at most.

“A lot of these parents preferred the idea of a cycle path along Nine Mile Ride as they didn’t want their children cycling through California Country Park which they thought was too isolated.

“In my opinion, you are more likely to be put in danger cycling too close to a road than you are cycling through a country park, but that is just my opinion.

“As the parish council, we always thought we were going to be kept involved in the plans, but we weren’t, which we were surprised about.

“If we had been consulted, along with other residents in Finchampstead, then WBC would have seen what a bad idea it was.”

On Wednesday Wokingham Borough Council revealed plans to improve an existing footway on Nine Mile Ride to allow pupils attending Bohunt School in Arborfield a safe route to school.

Don’t miss this week’s The Wokingham Paper for reaction to this story and lots more. On sale Thursday, February 16.

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