Residents have their say on Shrewsbury's dedicated walking and cycling network

One year ago, Sustrans' Connect2 won the TV vote to bring £50million of lottery funding to 79 communities across the UK to create networks for everyday journeys for people travelling by foot or bicycle.

And it's exactly a year since Shrewsbury was awarded £500,000 as part of the Sustrans Connect 2 scheme. Since winning the vote, Shropshire County Council and Sustrans have been working hard behind the scenes to make the route the best it can be and are now inviting local residents to have their say at a public exhibition of the Greenfields proposals on Wednesday 17th December.

The proposals will mean better surfaces and drainage on the existing paths between Falstaff Street, Hubert Way and the Flaxmill, as well as completing a new path from Greenfields recreation ground towards the primary school, providing a direct route for hundreds of pupils that can be used all year round for their daily trip to school.

Local residents are invited to an exhibition at Greenfields Bowling Club where they can discuss the proposals with council representatives from 10.30am to 1pm and 4.30pm to 7pm.
In addition to the Greenfields paths, the Shrewsbury Connect2 scheme aims to complete the path that currently follows the River Severn most of the way around Shrewsbury's town centre. A new route will be created for pedestrians and cyclists on Smithfield Road, alongside the river and additional links will connect the centre of town to areas such as Spring Gardens, Mount Pleasant and Ditherington.

With the excellent news that Shrewsbury has also been granted 'Cycling Town' status, Shropshire County Council has been able to reduce the planned construction time for the Connect2 project. By completing the Connect2 project in 2011, almost 2 years earlier than originally planned, the benefits of both projects will be maximised.

The project team is also working closely with the Shrewsbury and Newport Canals Trust whose vision is to reinstate the canal that formerly ran from the Castlefields area of town out towards Newport.

John Everall, Shropshire County Council's Cabinet member for environment and sustainability, said: "We are delighted that we can now see the Connect2 project start to take shape. This project will provide an essential link for walkers and cyclists alike and will hopefully make a real difference in encouraging people to leave their cars at home when travelling into the town centre. We hope residents will come along to the exhibition and let us know their thoughts on the Greenfields proposals."

Sustrans' Area Manager, Henry Harbord says: "We are delighted to be making this significant step towards completing the Connect2 network here in Shrewsbury. I think it is wonderful that the County Council has not only been successful in gaining the Cycling Town status, but also that they have taken it as an opportunity to really enhance the Connect2 project. These two projects will work together to enable more journeys to be made by foot and bike - to the benefit of the local community."

This scheme has been made possible through the enormous support for Sustrans' Connect2 - as voted for by the public in the UK's largest lottery competition last December. Building on this public enthusiasm the Connect2 Steering Group meets regularly, and will be mounting a series of events around the growing path network, inviting people to use it to the full.

For further information on the scheme please see Shropshire County Council's website,

Source: Sustrans