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Date published: 04 January 2023
Linking the estate to the park
New walking and cycling routes have been created on land around Bowlee Park in Middleton to improve access to the new secondary school, Edgar Wood Academy.
Rochdale Council has finalised work to connect the residential estate of Langley with Edgar Wood Academy which opened in the autumn, with routes created alongside the school from Heywood Old Road to Martindale Crescent and Windermere Road.
It is hoped that this will help alleviate the reliance on dropping off or picking up children at the school in vehicles, and promote more active travel with the benefit of improving health and wellbeing among residents and schoolchildren.
It should also see less general traffic to the park, as alternative travel options have come into being.
Councillor Daniel Meredith, cabinet member for highways and housing, said: “This scheme gives pupils and their parents an alternative to being taken to school by car. As more and more people turn to cycling, these new dedicated paths and routes cater to that desire.
“It promotes the idea for others to take up the activity as a means of getting to and from the school, and so meets our ambitions with regards to climate change and achieving net zero carbon.
“Residents who wish to use the park will now have a much more pleasant experience with the area well lit with new paths that have been newly surfaced.”
The scheme saw new routes and footpaths created on land adjacent to the school that would have otherwise been cut off and marooned. And prior to the project being completed, the land was often muddy and sodden, making it difficult for people to negotiate.
In addition to the new walking and cycling routes, a new access road with full street light is now in place.
Not only are school children and parents seeing a benefit but Bowlee Park has also become much more usable for residents and has seen an increase in visitors.
The scheme was delivered in conjunction with the development of Edgar Wood Academy, which opened in September. The school was funded and built by the Department for Education after planning was approved in 2019. The council provided the land for the school, which was built to create sufficient secondary school places in Middleton.
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