Gedling Borough Council is hoping to get the go ahead to transform a former railway line in Netherfield into a green cycle and walking route to a country park – with a tram line also being proposed too.
A report will be presented to council cabinet members next week will provide an update on work being carried out to bring to life plans for a new 3.5 kilometre greenway from Netherfield to Gedling Country Park.
The former railway mineral line near Netherfield has been designated as a potential cycle and walking route in the council’s development plan but it will need support from partners at Nottinghamshire County Council, Network Rail and Nottingham City Council in order to make it happen.
Initial work has been carried out to see if the route, which would start at Netherfield Railway Station and go as far as Gedling Country Park, is feasible. The findings from the study suggest that there are many benefits for residents if the route was to be created. The route could improve residents’ health and help improve connectivity within the borough and the city whilst reducing car traffic. The greenway would connect six existing parks and open spaces along the route to help create a green network between Gedling Country Park and Netherfield.
The study has also highlighted the potential for a tram extension next to the route, which could see transport links improved further but these proposals are part of a separate study and would need input from Nottingham City Council who are responsible for tram delivery across the Nottingham area.
The area in Netherfield, where the route is being proposed, has recently had a number of investments from Gedling Borough Council to help increase physical activity and improve community wellbeing. A new £72,000 cinder path, which was externally funded through FCC grant, was opened last year in the area and a new £73,000 children’s play area was opened on Ley Street, Netherfield in 2017 to encourage young people to be more active where they live.
The report highlights the benefits of the route for people’s health and well being and the amount it could save the NHS over the next few years by people being more active. The mineral line is also a significant historical artefact and would be used to highlight the borough’s rich heritage including its links with the former Gedling Colliery that is now the council’s flagship Gedling Country Park.
If approved, the report is proposing that officers from Gedling Borough Council continue to work with partners from Nottinghamshire County Council, Network Rail and Nottingham City Council to provide more details about a design, consult with residents and prepare a business plan for the project.
Leader of Gedling Borough Council, Councillor John Clarke said: “We have been looking at ways to do something creative with this railway line for several years and we are now at a point where we need to move this forward.
“The line is owned by Network Rail and as it is a pathway, Nottinghamshire County Council have the authority to get it built. We want to work with them and the City to produce a new walking and cycling route that will benefit our residents for years to come.
“This path will increase cycling and walking, reduce people travelling in cars and open up opportunities to connect our borough with, not only the city, but with our fantastic heritage. We want this to happen and we will work together to make it a reality. We have shown our commitment to the project by investing in the feasibility studies and we really hope that our colleagues can get on board with us and make this happen for the residents of Netherfield and in the surrounding areas.
If we can make this happen, it could also support our push for a Fourth Trent Bridge crossing nearby which could have a major impact to the local economy and bring much needed jobs and opportunities to Netherfield.”