A council in Nottinghamshire is hoping to get support to transform an old railway line into a cycling, walking and possible tram route connecting a number of open spaces.
A fresh proposal for the 3.5 kilometre (2.2 miles) greenway spanning from Netherfield Railway Station to Gedling Country Park will be presented in a report by Gedling Borough Council to cabinet members next week.
The former railway mineral line has already been designated as a potential cycle and walking route in the council’s development plan.
Initial work has been carried out to see if the route is feasible.
The findings from the study suggest there could be many benefits if the route were created including boosted health for residents, better connectivity and reduced car traffic.
The greenway would also connect six existing parks and open spaces along the route.
As well as Gedling Country Park, there is also Lambley Lane Recreation Ground, Willow Park, Burton Road Jubilee Park, allotments and ‘The Orchard’, Ley Street open space and Kingsley Drive open space all along the route.
A separate study is also looking at the potential for a tram extension next to the route to improve transport links.
These would need input from Nottingham City Council who are responsible for tram delivery across the Nottingham area.
The work would tie in with a number of other investments to the area by Gedling Borough Council to increase physical activity and improve community wellbeing.
A £72,000 cinder path, which was externally funded through FCC grant, was opened last year and a £73,000 children’s play area was opened on Ley Street in 2017.
The report highlights the amount it could save the NHS over the next few years by people being more active.
The mineral line is also a significant historical artefact and would be used to highlight the borough’s rich heritage including its links with the former Gedling Colliery that is now the council’s flagship Gedling Country Park.
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If approved, the report is proposing that officers from Gedling Borough Council continue to work with these partners to provide more details about a design, consult with residents and prepare a business plan for the project.
Leader of Gedling Borough Council, Councillor John Clarke said: “We have been looking at ways to do something creative with this railway line for several years and we are now at a point where we need to move this forward. The line is owned by Network Rail and as it is a pathway, Nottinghamshire County Council has the authority to get it built.
“We want to work with them and the city to produce a new walking and cycling route that will benefit our residents for years to come.
“This path will increase cycling and walking, reduce people travelling in cars and open up opportunities to connect our borough with, not only the city, but with our fantastic heritage. We want this to happen and we will work together to make it a reality.
“We have shown our commitment to the project by investing in the feasibility studies and we really hope that our colleagues can get on board with us and make this happen for the residents of Netherfield and in the surrounding areas.
“If we can make this happen, it could also support our push for a Fourth Trent Bridge crossing nearby which could have a major impact to the local economy and bring much-needed jobs and opportunities to Netherfield.”