Michael is backing plans to convert a disused railway line into a public footpath and cycleway linking Lichfield, Burntwood and Brownhills
“I have been approached by the Burntwood Action Group and the Lichfield Waterworks Trust both of whom would like to see the disused railway line from Lichfield to Brownhills via Burntwood converted into a public cycleway and footpath” says Michael Fabricant. “I have consulted with the Lichfield & Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust as the Lichfield Canal would run close to the line at some points, and they too support this initiative.
“So, provided Network Rail have no plans to restore this line – and I believe they do not – this scheme has my enthusiastic support. I hope to walk part of the route with members of the Burntwood Action Group in the not too distant future and see for myself the project’s potential.”
“This would provide our residents with the first traffic free route to and from Lichfield and Chasewater”
Meanwhile, Simon Caron who is Vice Chair of the Burntwood Action Group has told Michael: “We have been working with a number of organisations and have finally, after considerable effort, met with Network Rail to discuss a proposal to open the disused railway line between Lichfield, Hammerwich, Burntwood and Charringtons A5 as a cycle and walkway. This would provide our residents with the first traffic free route to and from Lichfield and Chasewater. With the backing of local businesses and using our own volunteers BAG would develop and manage the route under a licence signed by Burntwood Town Council.
“We have discussed the proposal with Burntwood Town Council and its Leader, Doug Pullen has given his full support. We have also approached Lichfield City Council for their support and staff at Sandfields Pumping Station are very excited about this proposition as the route would end at this point, offering possibilities for the development catering facilities. With further work at the Brownhills end it should be possible to link the route to the canal towpath, allowing an extension to Chasewater. This would provide a traffic free footpath/cycleway all the way from Lichfield to Chasewater. We are confident that businesses at Chasewater would welcome such a development.
“We believe that this proposal, which could be delivered with minimum finance or expertise from outside agencies, will create a positive impact on the communities you represent and hope that you will be willing to provide a letter of support which would be very useful in our dealings with Network Rail and help to push this opportunity toward reality.”
Michael adds: “I have now sent such a letter of support to the Group and look forward to meeting with them again shortly. And I will facilitate any future meetings that are required with Network Rail.”