Hampshire Now - your County Council magazine

Hitches Lane Cycle and Pedestrian Path

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

A brand new cycle and pedestrian path has been opened between Hitches lane and Fleet Town Centre.

The new path will not only connect residents on the western side of Fleet with the shops in the Town Centre on Fleet Road and Hart Leisure Centre on Hitches Lane to help stimulate the local economy but also allows children and their parents to safely walk or cycle to Tavistock Infant School, All Saints Junior School and Calthorpe Park Secondary School.

The under five population of Fleet is expected to grow by 13 per cent, over the coming years, so the need to help pupils take a more sustainable way of travelling to schools and reduce congestion on the surrounding roads is a high priority.

Hampshire County Council has worked with local residents, Fleet Town Council, Hart District Council and local businesses as well as the three schools to create a cycle and pedestrian path that will meet everyone's requirements. Thanks to funding from the Department for Transport's Local Sustainable Transport Fund, local developer contributions and Living Streets £722,000 was raised to build the path.

Hampshire County Council's Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment, Councillor Seán Woodward, said: "I was honoured to open the new cycle and pedestrian path on behalf of Fleet residents and I hope they will reap the benefits it will bring. We are very passionate about encouraging families to walk, cycle or use more sustainable forms of transport and this path will provide a safe way for children to travel to school, easing congestion on the roads, as well as creating a new link for people to access the town centre."

Mrs Joanne O'Connor, Head Teacher at Tavistock Infant School, said: "The new walking and cycling path appears to already be a success with more children 'scooting' past me in the mornings, which is lovely to see. We are hoping that many more children use the path in the coming months to help alleviate the parking problems we have around the school."

Living Streets' Chief Executive, Tony Armstrong, said: "This new path highlights the importance of safe and attractive routes to encourage children to walk to school. It's a great way to help children get the recommended 60 minutes of exercise each day and set healthy habits for the future."

"As the charity that runs the national Walk to School campaign, we know how rewarding walking to school can be for children and their parents and carers. It's fantastic to see councils like Hampshire identifying and implementing improvements to encourage walking, and we're delighted to be able to help."

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