Disused Northampton railway line bought for £1.5m to become cycle path

New path links town and workplaces with proposed new university campus

by Sarah Barth   October 27, 2013  

Northampton disused rail line

A disused railway in Northamptonshire is to become a cycle path after developers paid £1.5 million for it.

The path, which links Brackmills Industrial Estate to the Northampton Enterprise Zone two miles away, has been bought by West Northamptonshire Development Corporation (WNDC).

It bought the land from Network Rail, including 20 acres of wild land that will become a wildlife reserve.

The money spent will be reinvested in the railway network, while the new path will connect pedestrians and cyclists to existing facilities and a proposed new university campus.

WNDC’s chief executive Peter Mawson said: "The disused railway line has the potential to be a great addition to the local transport network, helping to make Northampton a truly walkable town."

Cllr Michael Clarke, Northamptonshire County Council cabinet member for transport, highways and environment, said: “This is great news. We now need to work with our partners to see how this disused railway line can be used best to bring maximum benefits to the community.

"We’re always exploring new ways of introducing more sustainable transport routes, which have many advantages including helping to reduce congestion and pollution as well as associated health benefits.”

Earlier this year we reported the opening of the Two Tunnels Greenway on a former railway line in Bath, which became a four-mile long walking and cycling route between Bath and Midford, including Britain’s longest cycling tunnel, the Combe Down Tunnel.

It was jointly developed by the sustainable transport charity Sustrans and Bath and North East Somerset Council.

Four former railway tunnels in the Peak District National Park have also opened to walkers and cyclists after lying disused for more than 40 years. The £2.25 million project was undertaken by the Peak District National Park Authority as part of its Pedal Peak District project and has been funded by the Department for Transport.

The four tunnels – called Headstone, Cressbrook, Litton and Chee Tor – are each between 400 and 500 metres long and housed part of the route of the Midland Railway prior to their closure in 1968.

They have now been cleared, repaired, resurfaced with environmentally friendly materials and provided with long-life lighting.

3 user comments

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posted by Cleighton [5 posts]
27th October 2013 - 21:56

33 Likes

More of this needs to happen. There would be a lovely scenic ride in Devon from South Brent to Kingsbridge, One of Dr Beechings closures buy alas a fair chunck of the passage has been sold to private ownership.

We're all entitled to a reasonable opinion!

posted by Guyz2010 [290 posts]
28th October 2013 - 15:05

31 Likes

The government should compulsorily acquire ALL the old Beechinged rail alignments - for the same price farmers paid for them in the 1960s. That's fair!

drmatthewhardy's picture

posted by drmatthewhardy [379 posts]
28th October 2013 - 22:39

33 Likes