Youngsters from Robert Le Kyng Primary School shrugged off the threat of Hurricane Barney on 17 November to plant bulbs which will bloom just as a new pedestrian-cycle path is unveiled in the spring.
Around 100 tulips, daffodils and crocuses close to the Cambria Bridge play area, under the watchful eye of Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Daniel Gooch who feature on a newly completed mural opposite the play area.
The areas forms part of the route for the soon to be refurbished Southern Flyer cycle and pedestrian pathway. The three miles long route, will join up West Leaze in Wichelstowe with Farnsby Street in the town centre and via Peglars Way, Beavans Bridge, Wootton Bassett Road, Turner Street, Joseph Street and Canal Walk.
The project to plant flowers at the Cambria Bridge section of the cycle path is part of a partnership project involving Robert Le Kyng Primary, the Council’s Highways and Central Locality teams as well as the Town Centre Neighbourhood Policing Team. The bulbs were provided by the Council’s Streetsmart team who were on hand to help the children with the planting.
The children were also given plant pots, bulbs and compost by the Council’s Highways team so they can grow their own bulbs at school. They were also given a goody bag from the Safer Routes to School team to thank them for their hard work.
Funding of £716,000 has been secured for the cycle route from the Government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) and work is expected to start in January. The route will be resurfaced and widened, existing road markings will be upgraded and new ones installed, while the scheme will also include new street furniture, new posts, wayfinding plinths, improved lighting and tree planting.
The aim of the scheme is to deliver a safe, direct and continuous cycle-pedestrian route from Wichelstowe to Swindon Town Centre in order to encourage people to shift towards cycling and walking. The end result will be a high quality, high profile route which will link with the National Cycle Network 45 and the Western Flyer, which was completed last year.
Cllr Dale Heenan, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Sustainability and Transport, said: “Swindon’s population will increase significantly over the next 15 to 20 years which is why we are upgrading our road network in order to cope with the expected increase in traffic.
“However, it is also vital that we do all we can to promote sustainable forms of transport so I am really pleased we have managed to secure the funding to upgrade this route and provide people living in Wichelstowe with an alternative route into the town centre which is both safe and direct.
“I would also like to thank the children from Robert Le Kyng for doing their bit to spruce up the local area along the route as the bulbs they planted today will begin to flower just as the upgraded path is completed in the spring.”
A video showing the route the Southern Flyer will take can be seen at: https://vimeo.com/141404097
All photos by Richard Wintle of Calyx
Learn more about the Cambria Bridge Swindon history mural painted by the Visual Drop