Old rail line set to be a Dream cycle path

Pathways leading to the Dream statue site at Sutton Manor.
Pathways leading to the Dream statue site at Sutton Manor.
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Plans to transform an overgrown old railway running from the Dream statue into a cycle path were given the green light last night.

Town Hall chiefs believe the creation of a 2.7km footpath and cycle path along the old Runcorn Gap Railway minerals line will boost both the borough’s tourism and recreation offering and the local economy.

The council scheme, set to be funded by the Local Sustainable Transport Fund, was given unanimous backing by councillors - providing gates are installed which prevent scrambler bike access.

An “A” frame is set to be located at the top of the path in a bid to prevent access by motorised vehicles.

But councillors reiterated the importance of keeping the path scrambler-free.

Coun Richard McCauley said: “That area is plagued by motorcycles. We need to make sure the entrances are motorbike and scrambler-proof.”

Coun Neil Taylor agreed: “There’s a danger bikers will see this as a roadway. The barriers must be substantial to stop them getting in.”

The Runcorn Gap line, which runs from Sutton Manor to Widnes, has been disused since 1982 with much of the green belt area now falling within Bold Forest Park.

Some sections of the proposed path will be topped with tarmac and, at Sutton Manor, the path adjacent to the railway cutting is to be resurfaced to enable it to stretch north towards St Helens in the future.

Just two objections were received following a 21-day consultation and the creation of the path is anticipated to be likely to boost businesses in Bold Heath by linking them to Sutton Manor.