Backing has been given to compulsory purchase land to provide the missing link in a cycleway and pedestrian path joining the villages of Yaxley and Farcet.

Members of the Economy and Environment Committee agreed at their meeting this week to start proceedings to purchase the land.

The Committee heard of the long term plans to create the link between the villages, which had started in 1999, had been split into three sections and had widespread public support.

The first two phases had been delivered but a section between Station Farm, Yaxley and Farcet Cemetery had not been built after the sale of the land had stalled despite agreements.

The final stretch of route is proposed to be built on agricultural land to give a shared foot and cycleway set back from the road. It will be paid for by Section106 planning money.

The report to committee said: "It should be made clear that the County have gone to great lengths to satisfy the requirements of both landowners. In addition to the purchase price, reasonable accommodation works such as the provision of gates, field accesses and fencing have been agreed that apparently satisfies the needs of all concerned.

"There is real public need for this route. The B1091 is a clear cycling desire line, forging a link into Peterborough and linking to the A15 and, most importantly, Stanground College.  The current road environment is extremely hostile for cyclists, and certainly not suitable for those of school age."

Cambridgeshire County Councillor Mac McGuire, Local Member, spoke at the meeting and said: "I have been campaigning for this link which has a mass of public support and is vital for the community and for the safety of people who want to walk or cycle. It is regrettable that we have to look at the compulsory purchasing the land but we cannot wait any longer. It must be secured to complete this much needed link and I hope the Committee's decision will prompt the legal process to be finalised rather than having to compulsory purchase."

Councillor Roger Henson, Local Member and member of the Economy and Environment Committee, said: "The Committee's decision was the right one. Anyone who knows this road knows just how dangerous it is to walk or cycle along. We need to secure this strip of land before it can be used for any other purpose."

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