By Ned Bristow Reporter
NEW walking and cycling routes could be introduced to Northwich and the surrounding villages and Cheshire West and Chester Council ups its response to the climate emergency.
In a first draft of improvement plans, the council is looking to enhance pedestrian and cycle infrastructure across the borough with a focus on ‘more sustainable and healthier lives’.
In Northwich, new and improved footpaths and crossings would cover much of the town centre, improving connectivity to the railway station and Victoria Infirmary.
Winnington Lane and Castle Street would see footpath enhancements, with Middlewich Road, Chesterway and the gyratory system also benefiting from improved crossings.
Meanwhile, London Road and the canal towpath between Hayhurst Bridge and Town Bridge would become shared use pedestrian and cycle routes. A ramp could be added to steps opposite the Navigation Road.
Cyclists could also see a segregated cycle track introduced along Chesterway from Northwich railway station, with the route following the new riverside path into Navigation Road, Spencer Street and under the railway line towards Greenbank, before splitting onto Hartford and Weaverham.
CWAC’s Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) summary said: “The proposals would deliver enhanced pedestrian provision across the length of the town centre, to the station and into residential areas.
“At present there is a lack of integrated cycle routes across the Northwich area. The routes with proposed LCWIP improvements would provide a step change in the level of dedicated cycle infrastructure provision across the area.
“In the longer term it is recommended that the prioritised desire lines to Leftwich, Gadbrook and Middlewich should be further explored.”
Now, the council is seeking your views. Since declaring a climate emergency in April is has worked with cycling and walking organisations to put together the LCWIP, with residents invited to take part in a consultation which runs until February 7.
Cllr Karen Shore, deputy leader and cabinet member for highways, said: “As part of our efforts to become carbon neutral, we want residents to feel less reliant on their vehicles to carry out day to day activities across short distances.
“The council is ambitious about improving and increasing the walking and cycling routes across the towns in our borough, improving access to jobs and services and, in doing so, increasing the health and wellbeing of our residents.”
Once feedback has been gathered, it will shape a final draft of the plan to be presented to the council in spring.
If approved, CWAC will seek to take advantage of future and Government funding in order to make the plans a reality.
See the consultation documents and .