Birchanger cycle path

Key Facts

  • Total cost: £800,000
  • Fund: Cycling, Safety and Integration
  • Date opened: May 2018
  • Region: Essex

The Cycling, Safety and Integration fund invested £800,000 to upgrade Birchanger cycle path which links Bishop’s Stortford to Stansted Airport carrying cyclists safely over the busy M11.

Prior to the upgrade, the narrow path was difficult to navigate, especially for vulnerable users. Cyclists commuting to the airport were using the busy, multi-lane roundabout at J8 of the M11 instead causing further traffic on the strategic road network.

The work was designed by WSP and delivered by one of our partners, Interserve, between December 2017 and May 2018. As part of the scheme, new signs, extra barriers and fences were installed, overhanging vegetation was cleared and some resurfacing work was completed to provide a safer, smoother journey for users.

The work also involved embedding energy-efficient solar stud lights and ‘give way’ signage for horse riders and cyclists where there are concealed turns.

The cycle path opened to the public in May 2018 with an official opening ceremony. We received positive feedback from users of the route illustrating the value the new route has for the local community.

The improvements to the one-mile route were part of an £11 million package of works on the M11, which has included road and bridge repairs on the motorway and the A11.


How the scheme benefits the local environment

As part of our commitment, the improved cycle path touches on all three aspects of our fund. It provides direct, safe access to the airport, college and local areas. These users also enjoy a more attractive and connected journey by removing barriers to alternative modes of transport.

The path is now accessible for a variety of users, providing an increased level of integration versus the old path.

It offers a long-term sustainable route that encourages healthier local journeys and a reduction of polluting vehicles. We hope the path will improve wellbeing for the users and surrounding area.

How the scheme benefits the local economy

By transferring cycle journeys from the local road network to a dedicated path, the surrounding network benefits from free-flowing traffic and reduces the risk of vehicle cycle collisions.


“This new path now offers an attractive and much safer route for users, including Stansted Airport staff, students of the new Stansted Airport College, Birchanger residents, and many more.”  

Highways England project manager Karl Brooks


“It is encouraging to see the work Highways England has done to improve this cycleway for users.”  

Cycling minister Jesse Norman MP