Future secured for Calne to Chippenham cycle path
The future of the North Wilts Rivers Route, a predominantly traffic-free cycling, walking and running path that links Chippenham to Calne, looks assured after Wiltshire Council reached agreement with the multiple landowners, who own sections of the route, to renew leases for the next five years.
During this five-year period, the council will consider options on how to keep the path open sustainably over the longer term. This will include seeking support from other stakeholders, examining sources of external funding, and any options that might achieve longer-term security.
Philip Whitehead, cabinet member for finance, said: "We know how important the North Wilts Rivers Route is to the community, and we're delighted to have worked with local landlords to secure its future for the next five years.
"Wiltshire Council currently maintains the whole route and provides some of its own land for the path, but we also pay private landlords to use some parts of the route. In addition, we also maintain the majority of the bridges on this route.
"With short term leases this route will remain vulnerable every five years, so we need to establish the best way to ensure the path is sustainable in the long-term.
"We will also seek support from the local councils, communities, and landowners to ensure that the entire responsibility of financial support does not solely stay with Wiltshire Council.
"Officers will now investigate all the options to safeguard the path's future, and we can then consider the best way forward before consulting with all relevant stakeholders to keep this well-loved and well-used route open for years to come."