Smarter and safer – council improves more than 20 public rights of way

People in Telford and Wrekin can enjoy smart and – most importantly – safe public rights of way thanks to ongoing work by Telford & Wrekin Council who are making sure public rights of way in the borough are in great condition.

Smarter and safer – council improves more than 20 public rights of way

The council is making walking in Telford and Wrekin easier, safer and more appealing thanks to a boost in investment into the borough’s public rights of way.

In June 2021, Telford & Wrekin Council cabinet agreed an additional £100k per year for three years to be directed into protecting and maintaining public rights of way, on top of the service’s annual budget and the funding secured through developer contributions as part of planning applications.

The additional funding has so far enabled vital work to improve more than 20 public rights of way across the borough over the last few months.

Projects have included replacing a damaged footbridge in Coalbrookdale, investing in a new surface on the footpath from Marlborough Way to Ironbridge way, and repairing broken and rotten boards on a particularly well-used path near Wide Water Pools in Dawley.

The team have also worked to improve access along public rights of way, clearing fallen trees from the paths on The Wrekin, extensive clearance of a well-used local path by Newport Showground which had become very overgrown, and repairing a number of damaged tarmac surfaces in Ketley which had been identified as an impediment to disabled residents.

Drainage issues have also been addressed through this work, with monies invested in improving drainage and the surface of a byway at Stoney Hill in Lightmoor, and for resurfacing and drainage improvements near Priorslee Academy, where parents and children had previously experienced a very muddy path.  

The council has also been working with Town and Parish Councils and local volunteer groups to identify and deliver improvements including kissing gates, signposts and bridges to improve accessibility on popular local walks.

Further projects are currently in progress, including the extensive repair and improvement of a public footpath leading from the former Cheshire Cheese pub, plus work to improve drainage at the back of the sports courts in St Georges.

The public rights of way team will then move on to deliver a large scale enhancement project in Newport, centred around the canal, with investment coming from monies secured from developer planning contributions and the Town Council in addition to Telford & Wrekin Council.

Cllr Carolyn Healy, cabinet member for climate change, green spaces, natural and historic environment and cultural services, said:

“This is important work that all councils should be doing, but many local authorities simply cannot find the budget. That’s why I’m delighted Telford & Wrekin Council has managed to maintain a strong financial position which allowed us to approve a number of one-off investments like this, to help create a better borough.

“This additional £300k funding over three years is now enabling our teams to give our residents the public rights of way they deserve – we are on their side.

“These paths are so important locally, whether as well-loved short cuts or routes that help people access our wonderful green spaces, so it’s great news that we’re making so many of them more accessible, safer and smarter.”