New link provides safer route for cyclists and pedestrians

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THE cycle and footpath toure linking Sleaford and Leasingham is to be officially opened on Saturday.

Walkers, cyclists, wheelchair users and anyone esle who will benefit from the traffic-free path that bridges the A17 is being invited to go along for the opening ceremony on the bridge at around 10.30am.

There will be celebrations taking place from 10am to noon, with a procession of people making the journey from Carre’s Grammar School to the bridge, setting out at 10am. Others are also invited to make the journey from Leasingham.

The opening of the bridge marks the completion of a five year project involving residents, town, parish, district and county councils, and the sustainable transport charity Sustrans. It is hoped to improve the route further by adding a dedicated bridge across the railway at Galley Hill in phase two.

Graham Arnold, from Leasingham, and Debbie Scott, of Sleaford, who have championed the route, and Leasingham schoolboy Oliver Harding, who is one of the three cyclists featured on the route’s sculptural bench, will perform the official opening.

Graham said: “After many years of campaigning it is nice to see our safe route across the A17 open. I hope that it will continue to be well-used as it really is an easier, safer and potentially life-saving alternative to negotiating the busy dual-carriageway close to the roundabout.”

Debbie added: “Whether it’s for getting to work, to school, to town or just for the pure pleasure of being out in the fresh air, this route provides a safe way of walking and cycling between Leasingham and Sleaford.”

MP Stephen Phillips and local Olympic and Paralympic torchbearers are among those expected to be at the opening.

In addition to Sustrans’ contributions from National Lottery and Government grants, finance for the route was provided by partners, including North Kesteven District Council and Lincolnshire County Council. The project was instigated by residents of Leasingham in response to dangers in crossing the A17.