AN 18 kilometre-long gardenway encircling Aylesbury is one step closer to reality after designers were appointed to kickstart the project.

Earmarked as the first major transformational scheme of the Aylesbury Garden Town Masterplan, the gardenway will include local parks, woodlands, playgrounds, community gardens, natural areas, waterways and heritage sites.

READ MORE: What is Aylesbury Garden Town?

Urban Movement has been chosen as the designers tasked with delivering the “fully-accessible” and “user-friendly” gardenway.

Councillor Steve Bowles, Aylesbury Garden Town’s Board Chairman, said: “This contract award recognises the strength of Urban Movement’s experience to work with communities to co-design and co-create large public realm projects.

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“The construction of the gardenway will take place in stages and will take many years to complete but the conceptual parameter design will give us what we need to identify the different sections and to start working with our local communities so key to seeing the project become a reality.”

The gardenway addition will complement the major Aylesbury Garden Town (AGT) project, an initiative devised to green the area as thousands more homes are built in the area in the next two decades.

READ MORE: How many of Aylesbury Garden Town's homes will be affordable?

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Christopher Martin, Co-Founder and Director or Urban Strategy at Urban Movement, added: “We are excited to have been selected to work on such a transformational project for Aylesbury, and exemplar project to inspire others.

“Working with local people to create greener and healthier towns has never been so important.”

The leap forward comes as a new bike park was unveiled by AGT bosses at Hale Leys shopping centre.

The 20-cycle racks at the park were installed as part of the Garden Town project’s ambition to encourage more people to use sustainable transport.

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AGT chiefs hope that by 2030, 50 per cent of all journeys in Aylesbury will be more sustainable, either through walking or cycling instead of by car.

READ MORE: Next step for Aylesbury Garden Town project confirmed

The cycle racks are located between the 146 Café outside seating area at Hale Leys and the top of the Exchange Street Car Park.

John Watson, Hale Leys Centre Manager, said: “The first day the cycle racks were installed people were making the most of them.

“The bike park offers users the opportunity to leave their bikes, securely stored together outside the shopping centre.

“We’re delighted to have worked with Aylesbury Garden Town to make this scheme happen, bringing more people to the town centre without increasing the traffic on the roads.”