Final stretch of Water Rail Way opens tomorrow

Party to celebrate completion of traffic free route from Boston to Lincoln

by Tony Farrelly   October 28, 2008  

Water Rail Way (David Martin/Sustrans)

Tomorrow sees the official completion of one of the longest traffic free routes in the East Midlands when the final section of the traffic free route between Boston and Lincoln is officially opened. 

 

Up to 200 adults and children are expected to gather on the Water Rail Way on Wednesday (October 29) to try out the new two-mile stretch between Langrick and Anton’s Gowt (near the Boston end of the route).

The official unveiling will be celebrated with various activities including face painting, habitat building and novelty bike riding for children. A bicycle decoration competition will encourage visitors of all ages to spruce up their bike and then impress judges by cycling down the new path.

The final segment completes the 20-mile route along the former Lincoln to Boston Railway line beside the River Witham, which forms part of the 12,000-mile National Cycle Network, created by sustainable transport charity Sustrans. The entire route has been developed over the last four years, costing £2million with funding from Lincolnshire Waterways Partnership and the East Midlands Development Agency.

Mary Powell, Lincolnshire Waterways Partnership manager, said: “Over £2 million has been invested so residents and visitors to Lincolnshire can now walk or cycle the complete route of the Water Rail Way that follows the River Witham. The path connects Lincoln and Boston with 20 miles off-road and 13 miles on country lanes. Walkers and cyclists can learn about the history surrounding the path way and the nature it attracts from the information boards along the route, as well as enjoying the popular art installations of Lincoln Red Cattle, Lincoln Longwool sheep and Lincolnshire Curly coated pigs. 

“To celebrate the opening of the new section we are hosting a party at Langrick Bridge to welcome new walkers and cyclists to discover the new facilities and enjoy all the activities we have planned for the day.  We are also planning a major launch for the completion of the project in April next year, with the longest ever party in Lincolnshire stretching the full length of the Water Rail Way.”

Sustrans Regional Officer Nicola Jones said: “The Water Rail Way is phenomenally popular with local people for its scenery, and this final stretch runs directly alongside the river which adds to its charm. People will be able to see boats and wildlife in addition to all the great works of art that line the length of the path.

“This development also gives local people a far more attractive and safer route for walking and cycling than the busy nearby roads, which will make it a terrific community facility to improve people’s health and the environment.”

The celebrations start with light refreshments at the Ferryboat Inn at Langrick Bridge, Langrick, at 11am.

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