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Better links for cyclists and walkers to a Leicestershire park

Improving access routes in and around Leicestershire’s Watermead Park has reconnected local people with a peaceful retreat from city life
The challenge

Watermead Country Park is a beautiful wildlife and recreation area but getting there on foot or by bike used to be difficult. Links from nearby villages to the park were poor and frequent flooding left its mark on many paths in the park. Bridges were too steep for wheelchair users and young children, and many of the routes were dangerous in icy or wet weather.

The solution

Because of the new, easy access bridges my elderly Grandfather can now get to the lakes and feed the ducks. For years he was stuck on the Thurmaston side of the Canal.

- A local resident

Sustrans replaced steep and stepped bridges with new, high quality crossings with gentle approaches, making the park more accessible. We built direct new routes through the park and resurfaced existing ones with hardwearing, all weather material. A canal-side towpath between the park and Syston was redeveloped and a bridge carrying the towpath over the River Wreake was replaced, providing a long-awaited connection with Cossington.

The difference

By renovating existing routes and creating new links to surrounding villages that connect into the city’s well-established cycling network, the project has helped to give thousands of people the opportunity to walk and cycle more. Our research shows that 1 in 4 people using the route could have used a car instead.

Want to find out more?

Find out how we’re transforming local travel across the UK. Call 0117 926 8893, email [email protected]