07:00PM, Wednesday 15 July 2020
Two footpaths alongside Dorney Lake will be closed for eight weeks from Friday, July 17, in order to install a high security fence.
In May, Dorney Lake was closed to the public after large groups of young people were spotted gathering in the area, behaving antisocially.
To restrict access to the site, owner Eton College closed the cycling path that runs adjacent to the lake, to the distress of cyclists.
Now it will be installing a high security fence, which will require Buckinghamshire Council to close two rights of way for eight weeks.
One of the routes runs along the north-western boundary from the Thames Path to Dorney Lake's entrance gate, while the other links Dorney Lake with Boveney Road.
Buckinghamshire cabinet member for communities, Gareth Williams, said: “This is a temporary measure and I'm sorry for any inconvenience.
“Our prime concern is people's safety and we want residents and visitors to be assured that we're working together in the interests of the community.”
The cycle path is part of the National Cycle Network (NCN), a network of traffic-free paths and quiet roads spanning 13,000 miles across the UK.
The routes are under the custodianship of Sustrans, a national charity that promotes active travel.
Peter Challis, Sustrans network development manager for Thames Valley, said:
“NCN routes are mainly scenic, but some, like this one, perform an important local function. People use it for essential journeys.
“The diversion route along the Thames Path is a public footpath, so strictly speaking, people can’t cycle down there. That’s the difficulty – finding an alternative route for people to cycle.”
Windsor & Maidenhead Cycling Action Group (W&MCAG), an independent group that promotes cycling in the borough, was among those who alerted Sustrans to the problem with this route, known as NCN4.
“NCN4 is a vital part of the local cycling infrastructure,” said a spokesperson for W&MCAG.
“It is more important than ever that it's kept open so people are able to both pursue a healthy lifestyle and have access to essential ‘active travel’ connectivity within and beyond the Royal Borough. We're very encouraged by the response of all parties regarding this high profile matter.”
Eton College had not responded to a request for comment at the time of going to press.
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