This week saw the opening of a new footpath in Burnley, linking Simonstone Lane to Gooseleach Wood along the old East Lancs track bed.
Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans was in attendance for the ceremony celebrating the completition of the footpath created in partnership by Martholme Greenway and Sustrans.
The creation of the path, that has now completed, required:
- The construction, clearance and tidy up of the old track bed, including the removal of two old sheds and two skips full of rubbish from the sheds and surrounding area.
- The construction of an access point off Simonstone lane and access steps up the side of the old Simonstone lane bridge abutment.
- The installation of two new bridges, which were constructed by students from University Centre at Blackburn College with help from Martholme Greenway, the British Horse Society, Sustrans and the Friends of Padiham Greenway
The new structures over old cattle creeps are part of a footpath which creates a scenic new walk with beautiful views over towards the Pendle and Hambleden Hills. The position of the path on the old track bed makes this an idea all weather walk that is not subject to the same issues of flooding that the surrounding public footpaths are.
Adam Lucas and Lee Paterson led on the design, build and installation of the new bridges. Engineering support was provided from their academic subject leader and Sustrans volunteer Dr John Barker, as well as Martholme Greenway and local volunteers. John is also chair of local community group the Martholme Greenway, which led work to reopen the nearby Martholme Viaduct last year to people on foot, and aims to create further cycling and walking links.
Dr John Barker said of the project:
“Thanks to everyone who put in so much hard work in to the clearance of the site, design, build and install the bridges and access steps. They open up a fantastic new walking route for local people and are another step forward in work to create more cycling and walking links in the area.”
Paul Bruffell, Sustrans Network Development Manager for the North West said:
"Sustrans is working with Lancashire County Council and local district councils to develop walking and cycling routes along the Calder Valley to link communities and enable people to have more opportunities to walk and cycle as part of their daily routines and for leisure. Sustrans works with a wide range of partners to secure the development of routes, including working with local groups and individuals that have tremendous energy and time to help instigate new and enhanced routes."
The project has been funded by grants from the Tesco bags of help scheme and Simonstone parish council.
Martholme Viaduct is owned by Sustrans’ sister charity Railway Paths Limited and reopened in November 2017 after being closed for 15 years.
For more information, images and interviews please contact:
Sarah Roe, Marketing & Communications Officer (North) on T: 0161 233 4071 or M: 07785 268417