The Padiham Greenway section of the route runs from Mollywood Lane, Rosegrove to Padiham Memorial Park and is approximately 2.5km long. It has recently been acquired by Sustrans, the sustainable transport charity, who are a key partner in the project.
Planning permission to change of use of the section to a footpath/bridleway/cycleway was granted in April 2005. Attached to this planning permission were several conditions including those relating to landscaping, lighting and access points. These conditions were satisfied in November 2008 following the completion of the detailed design for the scheme.
Work on the design commenced in December 2006 with a stakeholders group established to steer the design process. Members of the stakeholders group include user groups, local residents representatives, Padiham Town Council, Burnley Borough Council and Lancashire County Council. The stakeholders group met twice to discuss and agree the outline design options before they were presented at a wider consultation event.
A drop in exhibition for the draft design options for the Mollywood Lane to Padiham Memorial Park section took place on Monday 3rd December 2007 at Padiham Town Hall. Members of the public were able to view and comment on the draft design options for the site and question members of the REMADE team. The draft design presented at the exhibition can be seen below:
Although over 100 people attended the consultation event it was felt that further consultation with residents on more detailed design aspects was required in the central area of the site. This led to approximately 250 questionnaires being sent to residents in the Cardwell Street and Shakespeare Street areas in April 2008.
Additional consultation regarding the provision of seating in the central area of the site between Hapton Street and Shakespeare Street took place in July 2009.
Advance work on clearing vegetation along the track bed of the Padiham section took place in March 2008. The existing track was removed in April 2008 with improvement work to several of the bridges undertaken during 2008.
The main construction works commenced on Monday 26th January 2009 and were completed in December 2009. JN Bentley Ltd were the main contractors for the works.
Work on site included the construction of a surfaced footpath/cycleway, creation of new access points, the removal of a bridge at Shakespeare Street and the lowering of an existing embankment. In the central area of the site around Pendle Street a more formal parkland area was created with new grassed areas, tree and shrub planting. Existing stone walls were lowered and railings introduced to improve visibility across the site in this area.
Another key objective of the project is to improve the ecological value of the site. To achieve this extensive areas of wildflower grassland were created as well as improved management of existing grassland and woodland. In total over 1,000 native species trees and 8,000 shrubs were planted to improve the ecological value of the site as well as providing screening for nearby properties. The tree and shrub planting took place between February and March 2010.
The final design for the project can be viewed below:
To mark the opening of the greenway a celebration week of events was held between 20th and 26th June 2010. Events included a wildlife walk, Cycling into Railway History and the Padiham Pageant on the 26th June. To advertise the programme of events a leaflet was produced by Mid Pennine Arts. Further details on the events that took place will appear shortly.
To tie in with the Celebration Week the official opening of the site took place at Padiham Leisure Centre on the 24th June. Following speeches by representatives of Lancashire County Council, Burnley Borough Council, Mid Pennine Arts and the head teacher and pupils of Padiham Green Primary School the site was opened by County Councillor Michael Green, Cabinet Member for Planning and Environment.
On Wednesday 12th December 2007 it was announced that the Sustrans Connect 2 project had won The People's £50 Million lottery, the largest ever publicly decided funding award. Connect 2 will cost £140m in total and aims to improve walking and cycle routes in 79 communities across the country.
A total of £300,000 from Connect 2 has been secured towards the Padiham Greenway scheme and improving other connecting routes in the Padiham and Burnley area. A Friends of Connect 2 Group is to be established where local people can get involved in the project and have a say in how the Padiham Greenway site is used and also influence the design of some of the other Connect 2 routes. Please visit the Connect 2 webpage for further details.