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‘The journey can in no way be recommended for the soft-skinned’

Sir,

An anonymous correspondent last week believes that Haddenham children attending school in Thame should take the bus and that a safe cycle path between the two is therefore not needed.

Haddenham and Thame are less than three miles apart. With the railway station in Haddenham, major shopping in Thame, light industry and office employment in Thame and Haddenham, a large secondary school in Thame and primary schools in both, there is very large daily intercourse between the two centres.

The distance can easily be covered by cycle or on foot. However, the road, part of which is along the A418, is now so dominated by motor traffic that the journey can in no way be recommended for the soft-skinned.

A safe and unobstructed path between Haddenham and Thame would attract a large number of non-powered users, especially in fair weather. A move from motoring to walking and cycling would bring many community benefits: relief of road traffic, relief of parking at each end, reduced pollution of local atmosphere and harm to the planet, improved health of users and reduced costs to the NHS. All government and local priorities.

Given that other cycle paths out of Thame with less obvious utility have been provided, it is remarkable that the demonstrated demand for a link with Haddenham has not been pursued with more energy. The cost would be small: there could hardly be better value for money.

Yours,

Andrew Gordon