A group of 50 young engineers from the Netherlands are visiting Aylesbury Garden Town to review the town’s cycle routes and share their ideas on how to improve them. The project has been arranged by Witteveen+Bos, an engineering consultancy, who offer their newest employees (known as ‘neWBies’) an annual experience, to visit another country and take part in an interesting case study. This year the company chose to focus on Aylesbury, to share with the Garden Town Programme Team the benefits of their expertise and will be visiting the town on 16 and 17 November.
Aylesbury received Garden Town status last year and one of the key focuses as it evolves is that it has a well-designed and comprehensive cycling network. The town was previously designated as a Cycling Demonstration Town by the government and has a series of ‘Gemstone’ cycle routes. Work now needs to be done to ensure these are of excellent quality and expanded further, to serve the needs of the growing Garden Town.
During their two day visit, the neWBies from Witteveen+Bos will be given the opportunity to take to two wheels and travel around the Gemstone routes on bicycles. They’ll then work together on a detailed review of the cycling infrastructure and present their findings to the Garden Town Programme Team and Delivery Board. The valuable insight that they gain will feed into the Masterplan that is currently being put together for Aylesbury Garden Town, which will provide a framework for the future through to 2050, ensuring that provision for cycling is integral to the development of the town.
Aylesbury Garden Town Delivery Board Member, Cllr Bill Chapple OBE said, “This is a fantastic opportunity for Aylesbury. Becoming a Garden Town means having a transport system that’s joined-up and to which everyone has access – and that includes good cycle routes. The team from Witteveen+Bos will have a new experience with our hills, but we look forward to hearing from them about how we could improve cycling in the town and make it more attractive as a way of getting around, so we can make sure it’s in the plan for the future.”
Stephan van der Biezen, director of Witteveen+Bos added, “We are delighted to be visiting Aylesbury with our team of young engineers to support the Garden Town programme. The core of our work is about knowledge: bringing together the right expertise to help solve challenging issues in water, infrastructure, environment and construction projects. Witteveen+Bos want to also provide a platform for young employees to achieve their ambitions and develop their talents. By sharing and developing knowledge and deploying it worldwide, we can devise the most effective solutions to projects. Much has been done in the Netherlands to enable cycling to become one of the most popular modes of transport and we are looking forward to investigating ways in which similar methods could be applied in Aylesbury to help make cycling more accessible for people, whether they are travelling to work, or enjoying their leisure time.”
The Masterplan for Aylesbury Garden Town is due to be completed by summer next year. A draft version will go to public consultation next spring.