People of all ages joined a heritage trail, a foraging walk, a tree identification walk, led bike rides along the Trans Pennine Trail, and bike safety checks from Cheshire Cycles.
The event kicked-off with a ribbon cutting by local MP Andy Carter, with several members of Lymm Parish Council, and Sustrans’ Director for the North of England, Rosslyn Colderley.
The local community tried out an innovative new Flexipave surface made from over 10,000 recycled car tyres, which create a much smoother walking, wheeling and cycling experience for everybody. It’s the first time the material has been used in Warrington, and saves 230,555kg of CO2 had these tyres been burned.
Six restrictive ‘A’ frame barriers have been removed from along this popular path between Reddish Lane and Whitbarrow Road. It is now fully accessible for all non-motorised users including pedestrians, cyclists, anyone using a mobility scooter, a wheelchair, adapted bike or buggies, thanks to work led by Warrington Borough Council and the walking and cycling charity Sustrans.
The work is part of a national £77m programme, led by Sustrans with funding from the Department for Transport, to enhance the National Cycle Network and achieve the charity’s vision to create paths for everyone. This includes a number of improvements across the Trans Pennine Trail, which runs between Southport and Hornsea.
Councillor Hans Mundry, Warrington Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for transportation, highways and public realm, said: “We are delighted to be working with Sustrans to deliver these important improvements to the TPT. This strategic cycle route through our town is not only a key part of our wider cycling network but it is also a vitally important route for local active travel journeys.
“We are particularly pleased to be making our network more inclusive by making the surface smoother and more weather resistant, and also by removing the old-style barriers that have for so long prevented people with disabilities from using the TPT.
John Wilson, Chair of the Trans Pennine Trail Partnership said: “There has been so much positive feedback about these works, in particular opening up the accessibility of this section. The support Sustrans has given our partnership in securing funding for this project and future works is fantastic.”
Rosslyn Colderley, North of England Director for Sustrans said: “It was wonderful to see so people from different parts of the community, and different ages and abilities enjoying the Trans Pennine Trail on Saturday. We hope to run the event next year too.
“We want our network to be the natural choice for everyone, whether you’re using the routes to walk with your family, using a wheelchair or cycling for work, shops or leisure.
“It’s been great to work with Warrington Borough Council on this project and we’re keen to work with other local authorities across the Network to help achieve our vision of paths for everyone.”
The improvements to the Trans Pennine Trail in Lymm were delivered by Warrington Borough Council using its framework highway contractor AE Yates as the principal contractor and KBI Ltd as the primary subcontractor.
It’s the first stage of several phases to upgrade a major cycle route through the town and a key part of the council’s Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP). The council has already delivered upgrades to other sections of the Trans Pennine Trail in Warrington including alongside the Manchester Ship Canal in Latchford.
Phase 2 of improvements on the Trail in Lymm, between Whitbarrow Rd and Camsley Lane subway, will start in late 2022. Warrington Borough Council will be consulting on Phase 2 in the autumn.
For more information on improvements to the Trans Pennine Trail in Lymm see: www.warrington.gov.uk/TPT-Lymm Warrington Borough Council welcomes comments on their active travel plans for Warrington, which can be sent to email@example.com