Residents of Shrewsbury have been invited to a public exhibition on the 17th December so that they can give their feedback on the plans for the towns new walking and cycling network.
12 months ago Sustrans' Connect2 won a public vote to receive £50m worth of lottery funding for projects connecting local communities. Shrewsbury received £500,000 as a result to put towards creating a new network of cycle paths for the town. Sustrans has spent the past 12 months working on the design of the route and now they want the people of Shrewsbury to tell them what they think of it.
The proposals will mean better surfaces and drainage on the existing paths between Falstaff Street, Hubert Way and the Flaxmill, as well as completing a new path from Greenfields recreation ground towards the primary school, providing a direct route for hundreds of pupils that can be used all year round for their daily trip to school.
Local residents are invited to an exhibition at Greenfields Bowling Club where they can discuss the proposals with council representatives from 10.30am to 1pm and 4.30pm to 7pm.
In addition to the Greenfields paths, the Shrewsbury Connect2 scheme aims to complete the path that currently follows the River Severn most of the way around Shrewsbury's town centre. A new route will be created for pedestrians and cyclists on Smithfield Road, alongside the river and additional links will connect the centre of town to areas such as Spring Gardens, Mount Pleasant and Ditherington.
The original completion date for the project was 2013, but since securing the Sustrans' Connect2 lottery funding Shrewsbury has also been designated one of the UK's Cycling Towns by Cycling England which has enabled the project team to bring the completion date forward almost two years to 2011.
The project team is also working closely with the Shrewsbury and Newport Canals Trust whose vision is to reinstate the canal that formerly ran from the Castlefields area of town out towards Newport
John Everall, Shropshire County Council's Cabinet member for environment and sustainability, said: "We are delighted that we can now see the Connect2 project start to take shape. This project will provide an essential link for walkers and cyclists alike and will hopefully make a real difference in encouraging people to leave their cars at home when travelling into the town centre. We hope residents will come along to the exhibition and let us know their thoughts on the Greenfields proposals."
Sustrans' Area Manager, Henry Harbord says: "We are delighted to be making this significant step towards completing the Connect2 network here in Shrewsbury. I think it is wonderful that the County Council has not only been successful in gaining the Cycling Town status, but also that they have taken it as an opportunity to really enhance the Connect2 project. These two projects will work together to enable more journeys to be made by foot and bike - to the benefit of the local community."
For further information visit Sustrans.org.uk
Tony has been editing cycling magazines and websites since 1997 starting out as production editor and then deputy editor of Total Bike, acting editor of Total Mountain Bike and then seven years as editor of Cycling Plus. He launched his first cycling website - the Cycling Plus Forum at the turn of the century. In 2006 he left C+ to head up the launch team for Bike Radar which he edited until 2008, when he co-launched the multi-award winning road.cc - which he continues to edit today. His favourite ride is his ‘commute’ - which he does most days inc weekends and he’s been cycle-commuting since 1994. His favourite bikes are titanium and have disc brakes.