Milton Keynes redway system

The Milton Keynes redway system is a network of cycleways/paths for cyclists and pedestrians in Milton Keynes, England. It is generally surfaced with red tarmac, and criss-crosses most of the city.

Some of these redways run next to the grid roads and local roads, with underpasses or bridges where they intersect major roads. Others run through park land and along the flood plain of the Great Ouse and its tributaries. One of the aims of the redways was to make travel for pedestrians and cyclists convenient, safe, pleasant and accident free, but a study suggests that the system has only partially met these expectations. More recent statistical data shows that the accident rate for pedestrians in Milton Keynes is just 46% of the average for England and the rate for cyclists is 87%. In addition, the secluded semi-rural nature of many redways that make them pleasant by day can make some people feel unsafe to use them after dark.

Using the redways can be frustrating for experienced cyclists, because they tend to go under or over the roads, rather than vice versa. The frequent changes in gradient, and circuitious routing, can be tiring, demanding on cycle and cyclist, and lead to slow journey times. But for the prepared cyclist, the redways provide a convenient, pleasant way to commute within Milton Keynes. Because they take in the most scenic areas, the redways provide an excellent leisure facility. The library provides free maps of the better tourist routes. Hardcore cyclists prefer to use the grid roads, but the dual carriageways, roundabouts and 60 mph limits makes this an option best suited to the confident and experienced. That said, from 1987 to 1998 there was only one fatal cyclist collision on the grid roads, versus six fatalities involving cyclists using the redway system, though five of these involved motor-car/cyclist collisions at roadway/redway intersections. The number of cyclists using the redways is far higher than the number using the roads and their experience levels far lower, but there are no normalised statistics to show which on average is safer.

National cycle network

The national Sustrans National Cycle Network Route 6 (Derby - Luton) and Route 51 (Cambridge - Oxford) runs to and through the city (map) Route 6 enters the city at Old Wolverton and runs south through Milton Keynes on the local redway network and on some of the 'trim trail' routes. The route takes in Campbell Park before eventually merging with route 51 at the National Bowl. Route 51 runs in a loop beginning at the National Bowl running north through Knowlhill and Loughton. The route then crosses over the A5 and into Central Milton Keynes by Milton Keynes Central station. The route then runs along Midsummer Boulevard passing between the Centre: MK and Midsummer Place shopping centre crosses over into Campbell Park before joining back up with Route 6 by the Grand Union Canal. Cycle storage can be found along route 51 at Milton Keynes Central station (covered cycle racks) and at at the junction of Midsummer Boulevard and Witan Gate where there are storage and changing facilities available.

There are also frequent Sheffield cycle racks in the Business District near the station, and outside the shopping centre and theatre, on both sides of Midsummer Boulevard. Cyclists appear to be encouraged to cycle through car parks (with two-way lanes) on each side of Midsummer Boulevard, and use pedestrian underpasses at the major junctions (cars use the roundabouts and/or traffic lights).

The Swans Way long distance footpath also uses part of the redway system.


See also

External links

There is a map of the system here (3.4MB Adobe PDF file)

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