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Council welcomes ‘Great North Way’ concept for new traffic-free countryside route

The concept of a new green traffic-free walking and cycling path across Cheshire East is to be discussed at a public meeting this week.

Initially titled the ‘Great North Way’, it would see a 12-mile-long leafy route running alongside the Bollin Valley Way, an established popular countryside route for walkers and wildlife enthusiasts next to the River Bollin.

The Bollin Valley Way is a 25-mile recreational path between Macclesfield and south Manchester and is managed in Cheshire East by the council's countryside rangers’ service. It offers a changing river valley landscape of rural and industrial surroundings, grazing rare long-horn cattle and wildlife. 

The Great North Way would complement this, attracting the walker and cyclist going to and from work, while enjoying the attractive rural features of the Bollin Valley.

The Bollin Valley runs along the northern boundary of land owned by Tatton Estate, one of the largest private landowners in the borough. Cheshire East Council is one of several partner organisations invited to take part in a public meeting this week to scope the opportunity for this initiative. It is hoped that cycling and walking groups, businesses and interested members of the public will take part.

Councillor Suzie Akers-Smith, Cheshire East Council’s walking and cycling champion, said: “This is a significant initiative and, from a cycling and walking perspective, is in line with the council’s aspirations for more traffic-free routes across the borough.

“Personally, I hope it is something that can be progressed but it will require buy-in from a number of partners. The engagement event will help identify the level of interest in such a scheme.

“We are always interested to hear other people’s ideas for promoting active travel in Cheshire East and we are pleased to be invited to give some input and find out more about how this project could be progressed and financed.

“We are happy to work with partners and interested groups to explore costs and the potential for such a scheme.”

The engagement event takes place at North Range, Ashley Hall, Ashley on 30 September, starting at noon until 8pm.

Pictured - The Bollin Valley Trail and Footbridge in Wilmslow.

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