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Warrington Borough Council has started work on upgrading another section of the Trans Pennine Trail (TPT) and National Cycle Network Route 62 in Lymm.
The latest upgrade works follow the council successfully obtaining funding to make improvements to the TPT between the ranger cabin on Statham Avenue and the Camsley Lane subway. The investment is managed by the charity Sustrans as part of a national grant from the Department for Transport.
This section of the Trail was last upgraded in the late 1980’s when a red shale path was constructed. Over the years, the surface has deteriorated, so that it becomes very muddy and wet following rain, making it difficult to use. The path has also become overgrown with trees and shrubs, reducing its width, and there are several, old A-frame barriers which restrict the use of the trail for many people, who are unable to get through them.
The project design will provide a 3.5m wide all-weather surface, which will allow for all- year-round use. As well as catering for people walking, cycling, running and horse riding, the new path will allow easier access for people in wheelchairs, mobility scooters and families using pushchairs and prams. All of the old A frame barriers will be replaced by Equality Act compliant access controls.
The council carried out a four-week engagement exercise in November 2022. This gave people the opportunity to make comments and have their questions answered, with feedback received helping to inform the final scheme design.
The consultation resulted in over 100 responses and well-attended drop in events at Lymm Village Hall and ranger cabin in December. Overall there was positive support for the improvements which was helped by the good feedback to the phase 1 scheme completed earlier in 2022.
The design will use an innovative material known as Flexipave which is one of several brand names for a recycled car tyre and aggregate mix. The resulting surface will not only look better, it will also offer better drainage and will be more suitable for all users including runners, dog walkers and horse riders. In addition far fewer trees will need to be removed along the route. Flexipave has been used successfully on the TPT phase 1 project as well as the recently completed scheme near Greenalls Avenue in Latchford.
Contractors AE Yates and KBI Ltd are working together to lay the new path, and a closure notice has been issued until early October, though it is hoped that the works will be completed sooner than this, pending weather conditions. A diversion route for the TPT is in place and details are being promoted on the project web page, via social media and using on-site notices.
Warrington Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for transportation, highways and public realm, Cllr Hans Mundry, said: “We’re very pleased to be improving yet another section of the TPT. The views and comments from the public and stakeholders have helped to ensure that we cater for everyone’s requirements.
“However, we haven’t forgotten the other parts of the trail which are also in need of improvement, such as the section in Thelwall. Our aim is to improve all of the TPT. We will therefore continue to work with our partners, Sustrans and the TPT office, to bid to the government for further funds so that all of the TPT in Warrington can be upgraded.”
For more information on the project visit warrington.gov.uk/TPT-Lymm