A £1m cycleway linking Waddesdon Manor to Aylesbury Vale Parkway railway station could be built by next summer.
The 5km route, which will largely follow the old Roman Akeman Street, will allow cyclists and walkers to travel across beautiful countryside in a car-free environment.
Subject to planning permission, it will also open up the manor to tourists using the railway station near Berryfields.
The cycleway, which will connect with other cycle routes in the Vale, is being funded by the Department for Transport, as part of a scheme to connect communities affected by HS2. Aylesbury, which eleven years ago was chosen by the government as a cycling demonstration town, will be the first section in the country to be completed. The project is being spearheaded by charity Greenways and Cycleroute Routes Ltd, in close collaboration with the Waddesdon Estate, other landowners and Bucks County Council.
Project designer John Grimshaw said: “I can’t emphaisise enough how hugely supportive Waddesdon Manor and Bucks County Council have been. The Waddesdon Estate really want this to be of a high standard as it will be the start of the route to the manor. We want this to be the best cycling route in Britain.”
Mr Grimshaw said it was likely the Rothschild Foundation would commission a sculpture to be placed along the route.
A statement submitted by the applicants to planning authority Aylesbury Vale District Council, said: “Waddesdon Village is tantalisingly close to Aylesbury Parkway but the heavy traffic on the A41 prevents all but the most experienced people cycling to the station. It’s certainly no place for the inexperienced or families.
“Yet the manor is less than 6kms from the station and an easy cycle ride and a good walk – if only there was a safe way.
“There are already a number of memorable avenues on the Estate. The Drive to Eythrope is one and more recently the Millenium Avenue stretching away from Windmill Hill is another.
“This parkway avenue needs not be so grand but it could be equally valuable as it would form the route to Waddesdon Manor for all those who choose to come by foot or by cycle whether from Berryfields, Aylesbury or London and could be a daily route for local residents.”
Paul Irwin, county councillor for Waddesdon and deputy transport cabinet member, is a keen supporter of the project.
“We’re delighted to support the cycleway and footpath proposal, and we’re working closely with the charity to lever government funding where we can,” he said.
“This is a great project and I’m pleased it has the support of the people of Waddesdon.”