£150,000 bridleway links Moreton Hall and Suffolk Business Park with Rougham Road, in Bury St Edmunds
A new £150,000 bridleway linking south-east Bury St Edmunds with Suffolk Business Park opened on Tuesday.
It is hoped the 790m bridleway – which gives walkers and cyclists an off-road route avoiding A14 junction 44 – could help people to be more active and reduce car usage.
The bridleway will also link to Sustrans National Cycle Route 13 and the Moreton Hall estate, business parks, Rougham Tower Avenue and Sybil Andrews Academy.
The path is a continuation of Rougham Road, providing a route beyond the lorry park running parallel to the A14.
The bridleway has been surfaced using recycled materials from roadworks, while Suffolk Highways is trialling solar powered lighting along the route. The lights provide low-level illumination and are not designed to replace street lighting.
Andrew Woodin, rights of way and access manager, said he realised the route’s potential when he moved to the town more than 10 years ago, but the project only started to move forward three years ago after West Suffolk Council approached Suffolk Highways and the landowner.
Construction finally started in October and took seven weeks.
On Tuesday, Cllr Andrew Reid, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for highways, transport and rural affairs, joined Cllr Richard Rout, of Hardwick division, and Cllr Peter Thompson, Mayor of Bury St Edmunds, to cut the ribbon.
Young cyclists from Sebert Wood Primary School joined the celebrations and became some of the first to use the new route.
Cllr Andrew Reid, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for highways, transport and rural affairs, said: “I am delighted we have been able to provide this link.
“This bridleway makes active travel an appealing alternative and I hope residents and commuters take full advantage of it.”
Cllr Richard Rout, for Hardwick division, said: “I know people who cycle and walk this route regularly and the only way currently is across the busy A134.
“This bridleway is much safer and provides a link to jobs and services. Obviously, having declared a climate emergency, this is another way of getting people out of their cars.”
As a keen runner, Cllr Rout said he intended to use the route.
Cllr Thomson said the bridleway was an ‘excellent link to the town centre’ and could help to improve residents’ health and wellbeing.
More by this authorCamille Berriman