Villagers are set to shave over 10 minutes off the journey time to Dunstable, thanks to investment in a new High Speed Footpath.
The footpath, which has taken nearly 25 years to build, has gaps in the security fences for pedestrians to join or leave at each end.
“You can stop in the middle if you want to, but you can’t actually get off”, explained Cllr Ron Ronsson. “That means HSFP2 frees up capacity on other more crowded footpaths. Those in the high street, for instance. particularly the bit outside Poundland. Why would you waste your time ambling around there, when you could be wooshing back and forth between Harold and Dunstable?”
With a high traction surface and gently banked corners, commuters are expected to maintain a minimum speed of 8 mph. “That’s nearly double the speed of existing footpaths”, enthused Ronsson. “Who in the 20th Century would have believed we could achieve this in their lifetime?”
Certain restrictions are in place to make rush hour safe. Lycra and trainers are mandatory, and Footpath Agency Officers are on hand with cutting edge chewing gum trowels and high vis pooper scoopers. “If a fat man should collapse, they’ll be ready to rush to the scene”, said Ronsson. “And cone them off to keep the other commuters moving until he’s back on his feet.”
Some villagers are angry that the scheme has gone ahead, particularly those who can no longer open their front doors because they’re blocked off by the railings.
“The noise is horrendous, especially if they knock over my milk bottles”, said Doris Kettle. “The constant pounding and wheezing is more than my family can bear.”
“I couldn’t use it if I wanted to, not with my hip. But I’m still expected to subsidise the bloody thing for the thin-cat bankers. Its the house prices I’m most worried about. When the Victorians built this terrace, they didn’t envisage the damp course having to deal with quite so much sweat.”
Unions are also against the scheme, which they say will see their members put at risk of unacceptable levels of chafing. “We’ve organised a ‘go slow’ next Tuesday to support our workers. We’re asking the public to show their support by tying their laces together, wearing flip-flops or just generally being unfit.”