A POPULAR off-road greenway for walkers and cyclists will be extended by over two miles.
The Lias Line – part of the disused railway line which connects Rugby to Leamington – has already been the subject of one phase of development by its owner, the charity Sustrans, with adaptations from just east of Fosse Way to Long Itchington completed in 2022.
The next scheme will extend the line to Rugby after Warwickshire County Council (WCC) approved nearly £2.5million of grant funding secured from the Government’s Active Travel Fund.
The funding will pay for improvements to 2.17 miles of the line between Long Itchington Road near Hunningham Hill and Birdingbury Road between Marton and Birdingbury.
The adaptations to the route will take place across Rugby Borough and the Districts of Stratford-on-Avon and Warwick, with planning permission having been granted by all three local authorities.
Coun Jan Matecki, WCC’s spokesman for transport and planning, said: “This work will greatly enhance choices for active travel in the rural communities it passes.
“A further benefit will be seen by the businesses such as the pubs and cafes along the route can expect to see increased footfall.”
The council and Sustrans plan to create a network of over nine miles of accessible traffic-free greenways for walking, wheeling and cycling based on the Lias Line and Offchurch Greenway.
Sustrans is progressing design work and it is anticipated that construction works will commence in the early part of 2024. However, work may be phased to enable design requirements to be undertaken.
A future phase of the programme will connect a 120-metre gap between the Lias Line greenway and Offchurch Greenway, once HS2 completes a bridge over the Fosse Way in 2024.
The final phase will follow the branch line route south to the Stockton reservoir.
Visit https://tinyurl.com/2p9a5b6x for more information about the Lias Line and Sustrans.
Visit https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/warwickshire-safe-active-travel for more information on active travel in Warwickshire.