New route offers safer option for walkers and cyclists

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AN attractive new route for cyclists and walkers has officially opened between Leasingham and Sleaford.

Completion of the Leasingham to Sleaford Link marks the culmination of a community-led success story, to create a new route between the town and village, avoiding the busy Holdingham roundabout and A17.

The route is mainly traffic free from Carre’s Grammar through to Holdingham, where a totally traffic free greenway takes walkers, cyclists, and those with pushchairs or with wheelchairs, to a quiet bridge over the A17 and a path through the fields to Bishops Walk in Leasingham.

Coun Michael Gallagher, deputy leader of North Kesteven District Council and chairman of the steering group which has delivered the scheme, said the greatest benefit was safety.

He added: “We have created a new safe route, which is already being used daily by many people preferring to leave their car at home and take the healthier option of walking or cycling.”

NKDC has been a partner in the scheme, along with Lincolnshire County Council, sustainable transport charity Sustrans, Sleaford Town Council and Leasingham Parish Council.

The Leasingham to Sleaford Link is one of only 79 schemes across the UK to have benefitted from a Big Lottery grant, having won a public vote in the Peoples’ Millions Lottery in 2007.

A party of 100 students, local residents and dignitaries watched as scheme champions Debbie Scott and Graham Arnold joined Oliver Harding in cutting the ribbon across the newly refurbished bridge over the A17 at Holdingham.

Oliver, aged 10, is a keen cyclist and was chosen to be one of the three ‘characters’ for the portrait bench, installed midway along the greenway. Former town dentist, Mark Gould, and the late Nev Crane, a leading local cyclist who owned a bike shop in Sleaford, are also featured.

Leasingham parish councillor Graham Arnold said, “I’m very happy that the path is finally open after many years of campaigning and hope that it’s well used. It’s a much easier and potentially life-saving way to cross the busy dual carriageway and we want to tell everyone to go this way.”

This route is one of two in North Kesteven, the other being Carlton-Le-Moorland and Bassingham, which opened Spring 2012.