Aldermaston’s new cycling route, which links Aldermaston Wharf to the village, was officially unveiled on Sunday 25th November in front of over 200 villagers and cyclists.
The pathway, named Wasing Way, as the majority of land, nearing 2 kilometres, 5 metres wide, was donated by Wasing Estate, provides a safe route, avoiding the busy A340, between the two villages which were before only accessible by car. Not only does the pathway offer safety to walkers and cyclists but also creates a link between the national cycle path network and those using the towpath along the Kennet & Avon Canal that runs through the Estate, offering safety for barge users who will now be able to moor up and safely get to the local shops for provisions.
West Berkshire Council oversaw the construction of this new pathway and plans were largely managed by the cycling charity Sustrans. Aldermaston Parish Council chairman Dave Shirt said:
“When this project started we had nothing but a blank piece of paper: We got in touch with Sustrans, and boy did they help us. They helped oversee everything from planning through to land negotiation. We are extremely grateful to Wasing Estate, who gave us the land at peppercorn rent, also to AWE who provided the finance, and to West Berkshire Council which managed the actual construction”.
The Parish Council hope that this new pathway will encourage more people to get on their bikes reinforcing the already strong sense of community in the area by offering a new way for people to get together.
John Pattison, Chief Executive of the Wasing Estate stated “This initiative is a model development from a community, showing how it can work together, with numerous stakeholders, to produce something for the benefit of all, which will have lasting benefits to the community. In particular it provides a safe transit for the communities in Aldermaston village and at the Wharf. Making them together, more than ever, a fully connected Parish where facilities at either end of the cycle path can be easily accessed. In particular the journey to school for the youngsters in the community will keep them clear of busy main roads”.