Agenda item

Addition of Lias Line Improvement Scheme to Capital Programme


Councillor Jan Matecki (Portfolio Holder for Transport and Planning) introduced this report and summarised its key elements explaining that the Lias Line was a disused railway line extending between Fosse Way and Rugby. It was a permissive route that was owned, managed and maintained by Sustrans.  The paper recommended the release of capital funding, secured from the Active Travel Fund, to enable Sustrans to upgrade 3.5km of the Lias Line to multi-user greenway.  Councillor Tim Sinclair seconded the recommendation and reserved the right to speak.




Councillor Sarah Boad welcomed the proposals which, unlike the ravages of construction for HS2 would provide a safe space for families. 


Councillor Sarah Feeney also welcomed the development and suggested that more communications were required to ensure that residents were aware of the location of cycleways.


Councillor Heather Timms welcomed the proposed investment in Warwickshire which she considered would drive the rural economy through greater use of cafes and businesses and provide access for young people to commute to work. 


Councillor Tracey Drew also welcomed this scheme and noted that when public transport routes and greenways were joined up active travel would increase and so the smaller connections associated with the scheme were eagerly anticipated.


The report was also welcomed by Councillor Sarah Millar who thanked the team for their work on the scheme and expressed hope that local families would take advantage of the provision.


Councillor Rob Tromans was supportive of the scheme which he considered would add another dimension and reduce emissions.


Councillor Christopher Kettle spoke as the local division member to ask officers to ensure the track used by the equestrian community as an offroad facility was enabled to be continued.  He noted that whilst Sustrans stated they designed paths to be multiuser friendly, the first section of improvement to the line was unusable by the equestrian community.  Since there were 1600 horses registered with Defra in the immediate area, he expressed hope that Sustrans would liaise with the British Horse Society.  Councillor Kettle went on to note an increase in reported road accidents and that it would be important that the design did not therefore inadvertently exclude equestrians and hoped that the Portfolio Holder would push Sustrans to ensure that concerns raised in the Chamber were addressed.


Councillor Tim Sinclair echoed the view that this was a welcome provision for families, cyclists and walkers which represented a valuable community asset for generations to come.


Councillor Jan Matecki thanked the Chamber for its support and noted that Sustrans would be able to draw on its experience to include equestrian use of the line but that the Council did not have significant influence in this regard. 




A vote on the motion took place which was carried unanimously.




That Council approves the addition to the Capital Programme of £2,434,735 secured from the Government’s Active Travel Fund for the purpose of improving the eastern section of the Lias Line traffic free greenway as part of the creation of a walking, cycling and wheeling route which connects Rugby, Long Itchington, Leamington Spa and other rural communities.


Supporting documents: