Funding boost for traffic-free route in Hertfordshire
The Cole Green Way is having a makeover
A well-used traffic-free route in Hertfordshire has landed almost £300,000 of funding to help continue improvements after the first phase of resurfacing last year.
The Cole Green Way – once the railway line between Welwyn Garden City and Hertford – is having a makeover, and the funding from Sustrans, a national charity that aims to make it easier for people to walk and cycle, will play a huge part in the work.
At almost four miles long, the Cole Green Way forms part of the National Cycle Network and provides a valued connection between the two towns.
It is an important route for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders, and a valuable wildlife corridor. The majority of the route is owned and managed by Hertfordshire County Council.
Phil Bibby, Hertfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Environment, said: “This funding is wonderful news. The Cole Green Way is already a great facility, and this money will help us to fulfil the route’s potential.
"We’re looking forward to our residents being able to use it to a much greater extent again when the government guidance on social distancing is no longer in place – and the continuing improvement work has been completed.
“Our aim is to make the route easier and more pleasant for everyone to use, and our vision sees walking, cycling and public transport playing a much greater role in getting people around, as shown in the Local Transport Plan.
"This is another example of action we’re taking across the county to make active travel safer and more accessible.”
The planned work on the Cole Green Way will provide a more attractive and user-friendly route, while maintaining its rural character and making sure its value to wildlife is recognised.
The former site of Cole Green station is also being restored, to celebrate the route’s heritage, with local Countryside Management Service volunteers taking part.
The improvements also show the county council’s commitment to its Active Travel strategy, which aims to encourage walking and cycling to improve health and the environment, reduce congestion and boost the economy.
Gwyneth McMinn, Sustrans’ Head of Network Development, Midlands and East, said: “We are delighted to support Hertfordshire County Council with much-needed funding for the Cole Green Way.
"This beautiful and popular route has huge potential to provide a quality green corridor for everyone walking or cycling to schools and local businesses, and enhance a developing market for sustainable tourism in the area.”
The county council gave people the opportunity to have their say on the future of the Cole Green Way with periods of public engagement in 2017 and 2018.
Residents, existing users and local organisations all contributed to the development of the final Greenspace Action Plan setting out all of the work which will be carried out.
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