NEW PLYMSTOCK WALKING AND CYCLING ROUTE EXTENSION

The next stage of a popular Plymstock off-road walking and cycling path looks set to be extended towards Sherford – including opening up an old blocked off rail bridge under Colesdown Hill, Plymouth City Council has announced.

The Council's news page reports that a section of the former railway line from Colesdown Hill back onto Elburton Road is next in line to be made into a route that is accessible to walkers, cyclists, mobility scooters and parents with pushchairs.

A decision is being signed to approve the business case and funding for the scheme to enable the planning application and procurement processes to get underway.

The project would follow the completion of an 800-metre stretch along the old railway line from Saltram Meadow roundabout to Colesdown Hill last year, which is part of a route which has been completed in phases, as funding has allowed, since the opening of Laira Rail Bridge in 2015 to walkers and cyclists.

It would be the next stage of a long term plan to use the old railway alignment as part of the strategic cycle network.

Councillor Mark Coker, Cabinet member for Strategic Transport and Infrastructure, said: "This route has proved very popular with walkers and cyclists and bit by bit we are extending it further east into Plymstock towards Sherford.

“More people are getting on their bikes and making sure there are safe and pleasant alternatives to cycling on, or walking alongside, busy roads – where we can – is the right thing to do. With 30 per cent of our carbon emissions coming from transport, we need to do our bit to encourage walking and cycling for all abilities.”

The design for this latest extension is being worked on ahead of a planning application which is due to be submitted in January.

The whole scheme is estimated to cost £2,800,000 with funding awarded by Active Travel and other external funders. Therefore the scheme would not add any extra burden on the council’s resources and once complete, would encourage more people to travel more sustainably from Plymstock.

If all goes according to plan, work could start in the autumn of 2024.

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