Council funds improvements to public rights of way across the borough

18 August 2021

Cheshire West and Chester Council has funded improvements to public rights of way (PROW) across the borough totalling £175,000 and has set aside a further £125,000 for PROW improvement projects this year.

Many PROW had been affected by increased use during the pandemic and the impact of Storm Christophe earlier this year.

The Council's Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member of Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, Councillor Karen Shore said: "Our public rights of way have seen a real increase in use, as we all took our daily exercise outdoors during lockdown and the severe weather earlier this year has also had an impact.

"However, our PROW team is working hard to restore the network of public rights of way.  It's unfortunate that some routes are still closed for safety reasons, but we are planning to reopen these as soon as possible for residents and visitors to enjoy once again."

In total 42 improvement schemes were completed last year on the Council's PROW network.  Work has included cutting back vegetation, new timber on footbridges, resurfacing, digging out wet areas, stile replacement, kissing gate installation as well as new furniture and signposts.  More schemes are planned in the coming months.

One of the projects undertaken this year was at Whitegate and Marton Footpath 3, near Petty Pool.  A 160m timber boardwalk was in a very poor condition, so unsafe the route was going to closed.  The Council funded a replacement structure using GRP (glass reinforced plastic) which has a much longer lifespan and durability than timber when conditions are very wet.  It was an ideal material for this location.

Another project in Threapwood, near Malpas involved replacing a damaged timber footpath bridge with a 16 metre GRP structure.  The footpath now provides a safe off-road route for residents to use, linking Upper and Lower Threapwood.

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