A cycle buddy scheme is being launched in Thame to encourage commuters travelling to the rail station to leave their cars at home.
To celebrate Cycle to Work Day on Wednesday, August 15, the Haddenham to Thame Cycleway group (CycleHAT) is organising a free buddy scheme to escort want-to-cycle commuters between Thame Town Hall and Haddenham and Thame Parkway train station during the morning commute.
The hope is that a number of commuters who usually drive to the station will be inspired to ditch the car and cycle instead on the day – enjoying some fresh air, exercise and saving the expense of a car parking ticket.
As a reward for the cycle commuters’ efforts, the Little Italy café at the Haddenham and Thame Parkway station is kindly providing a complimentary cup of coffee for those taking part.
On the day, a pool of experienced cyclists - or buddies - will personally escort those who are not familiar with the commute by bicycle. Trips to the train station will leave at regular intervals between 7am and 9am.
Cyclists wishing to reserve a space can do so by visiting http://bit.ly/cyclehat indicating your preferred departure time on the basis that 30 minutes should be allowed for the trip.
Riders only need to take a roadworthy bicycle, a helmet, and a lock.
Optionally, a set of lights and a waterproof may be prudent depending on the weather and your expected time of return.
The event is being organised to promote awareness for the need for an improved cycle-friendly route between Thame and Haddenham, with the aim to realise a safer means of cycling for the benefits of local commuters, families, and children.
The new cycle scheme is being launched on Wednesday, August 15 at 8am at Thame Town Hall with members of CycleHAT and cycle-commuters-for-the-day.
A spokesman for the project said: “A cycle-friendly route between Thame and Haddenham will benefit more than just commuters. It will aid families wanting to visit local shops, leisure facilities and events in both towns without resorting to the use of a car. It will also remove cyclists from congested local roads, easing the flow of traffic.
“The health benefits for anyone who cycles are well documented and a safe route will encourage year-round exercise for both leisure and commuting.”
Proposals in the neighbourhood plan
A safe cycle route from Haddenham to Thame could also link up with the Phoenix Trail providing cyclists, runners and those out for a weekend stroll with a car-free connection to Princes Risborough, say the organisers of CycleHAT.
Charles Boundy, chairman, RSA Thame Group – honorary consultants to Thame Town Council, said: “Achieving a viable and secure cycle link between Thame and the station at Haddenham has always been a key objective of the Thame Neighbourhood Plan and the trailblazing Green Living Plan of 2018 which sets out proposals for improved non-vehicle links and cleaner air in and around Thame.
“We’re delighted to be working with CycleHaT to help build momentum for this vital project and fully support their efforts.”
David Lyons, Haddenham cyclist and parish councillor said: “With so many new houses being built in Haddenham and Thame, together with the many facilities each has to offer, building an effective cycle and footpath between the two is a no brainier. The A418 is often packed bumper to bumper in the mornings and people say they would much prefer to cycle if it wasn’t for the 418 and Scotsgrove turn. With targets to reduce obesity, pollution and road congestion, this should tick all the right boxes.”
CycleHAT has recently been formed to promote the development of an improved cycle-friendly route between Thame and Haddenham, with the aim to realise a safer means of cycling for the benefits of local commuters, families, and children. Its founding members are Andrew Caleya Chetty, Oliver Graydon, Stuart Horseman and Matt Millar. CycleHAT can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cycle-to-Work day is a nationwide initiative that aims to encourage more people to use a bicycle for their daily commute.
More information can be found at www.cycletoworkday.org