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You’ll never ‘tyre’ of this impressive new pathway

Published: Friday, 18 October, 2019

Resurfacing work is taking place along a stretch of cycleway using more than 8,000 recycled tyres to create a new multi-use pathway.

A section of the Nailsworth to Stroud cycleway is heavily worn and no longer fit for purpose, so this project will transform it into a popular route for cyclists, walkers and horse riders.

It is being led by the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust (GWT) and is being funded by Gloucestershire County Council, Stroud District Council and NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, with some funding from the European Regional Development Fund to carry out biodiversity improvements.

The resurfacing work on the 1.2km section from Nailsworth to South Woodchester, parallel to the Bath Road, started on Monday 23 September and will take about six to eight weeks to complete. If any sections need to be closed while work is taking place, signs will be displayed advising the public to use an alternative route.

The work is being carried out using a sustainable paving surface called Flexipave that is both flexible and able to absorb water. It will be made out of ground rubber from 8,235 recycled car tyres, stone and a binding substance to create a sustainable surfaced path. Rigorous environmental testing has been carried out on this product to ensure that no pollutants can leak from it, even under extreme pressure.

GWT will be carrying out habitat improvement works over the next two years to create glades, ponds and to promote the flora along the route. Bat boxes will also be installed to provide greater roosting opportunities.

Grove Sykes, GWT’s Wild Towns project officer, said: “This multi-use path provides a great route for people to pass between Stonehouse, Nailsworth and Stroud - but not just that; it’s a lovely green space which we will be enhancing to allow wildlife to flourish and make this scenic route even more picturesque and valuable for wildlife.”

Councillor Vernon Smith, Gloucestershire County Council’s cabinet member for highways and public rights of way, said: “This is a fantastic project and I am delighted we are working with our partners, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust and Stroud District Council, to create it. It will improve a popular route with a variety of uses including cycling, walking and horse riding and it’s great to see recycled materials being used so innovatively.”

Cllr Simon Pickering, chair of Stroud District Council’s environment committee, said: “This is great partnership work involving councils and charities to upgrade this vital part of the cycle network. Resurfacing will make it easier and safer for everyone to cycle rather than drive, improving mental health, reducing obesity and addressing climate change.”

Cllr Steve Robinson, county and district councillor for Nailsworth, said: “This work will create a much improved facility that I’m sure will prove to be very popular. I hope it will encourage people to leave their cars at home and explore this beautiful area.”

They were joined on Thursday by Stroud District Council officers and members including Nailsworth member Cllr Norman Kay, and former Environment Committee vice-chair Cllr Paul Denney, who announced plans for the new surface with then-leader Cllr Steve Lydon three years ago.

The pathway was established as part of the Sustrans national cycle network in the mid 1980s and is multi-user path – dog walkers are reminded that a bylaw brought in in 2012 means dogs must be on leads on the path, as well as all car parks, allotments, cemeteries, canal towpaths and other designated cycle paths in the district, and specific footpaths used to access schools or colleges.

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