Work has begun to create a new greenway linking Lichfield, Burntwood and Brownhills.

Cllr Doug Pullen with Edward Healey and Joss Winter from Sustrans on part of the former railway line

Lichfield District Council has commissioned the charity Sustrans to complete a feasibility study on a new route for walkers and cyclists along the mothballed South Staffordshire Railway Line.

Engineers have visited the site to identify possible access points to link with communities and facilities along the route, including the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal restoration project.

Designs are now been drawn up for the greenway, which will feature a minimum three-metre wide surface and include elements such as a new play space and seating areas along the way.

Cllr Doug Pullen, leader of Lichfield District Council, said:

“I’m really pleased to hear about all the progress being made on the feasibility study, which is very positive.

“The sooner we have an overall idea of what the project will involve, from the designs through to local engagement, the sooner we can work in partnership to make it happen.

“Greenways are amazing as they encourage walking and cycling in safe spaces away from traffic and connect communities.

“To have an old railway line fenced off and unused is such a shame, and so bringing it back as a greenway for the good of all our local communities would be a real achievement.”

Cllr Doug Pullen, Lichfield District Council

Sustrans is now working with Network Rail to allow their ecologists to gain access to the old rail track, so they can analyse the potential ecological impact of the route and how biodiversity can be protected and encouraged.

Joss Winter, network development manager for Sustrans, said:

“We are excited to be working with Lichfield District Council on the greenway feasibility study. 

“It would provide a key connection between two areas, providing a traffic-free route for school travel, commuting and leisure. It would link to Chasewater and onto the McClean Way.

“The existing National Cycle Network Route 5 is on road, so the greenway would provide a safer alternative for all users, supporting our Paths for Everyone strategy.”

Joss Winter, Sustrans

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17 Comments

  1. Absolutely cannot wait for this to happen. It will provide a safe route to Walsall and other locations. To my mind this will Lichfield an even better place to live than it already is.

  2. Fantastic news. To be able to walk and cycle off road all the way from Walsall to Lichfield (or the other way round) along NCN5 and the McClean Way is like a dream come true.

  3. A feasibility study should not concentrate on developing a single option of using the existing railway line. The study should look at key outcomes such as linking Burntwood and Lichfield via a traffic free route. The railway line sadly veers in the wrong direction of Burntwood. Maybe a path through Pipe Hill woods should also be considered too. Though I should add a route linking Lichfield and Burntwood is something so needed.

  4. Let’s be clear here. A Lichfield to Burntwood route is an entirely different thing to a Lichfield to Hammerwich route. I’m really not sure what use this will be to the people of Burntwood at all as yo access it means travelling down a dangerously narrow rat run in Hammerwich. Now a cycle track from Burntwood to Lichfield would be an absolute dream- but lets not spend money on something sensible,lets just squander money on a huge white elephant eh?

  5. Eddie, there’s clearly a need for a Burntwood to Lichfield path but surely it stands to reason that a route that’s already in place will be done first.

  6. Sounds good, but it needs to be a railway. Plans are afoot to return rail from Dudley to Walsall and then reopening the line as far as Brownhills. That new railway should go the extra six miles to Lichfield.

  7. All very good unless you live on the route !!! Having hundreds of people walking and cycling etc coming past your house isn’t good ? None of the above would like it !!!

  8. Railway Paths have bought the freehold from Brownhills to Walsall so forget the railway. The McClean way on this route is well established and well used and extending to Lichfield would be thee icing on the cake.

  9. I agree with ROBERT279. We can’t all ride a bike or walk far but we can all catch a train and this would be a great rail link. I can dream.

  10. In answer to Eddie 59 about the cycle path between Lichfield and Burntwood !! It annoys me when driving along this route the amount of cyclists ignoring the cycle path along part of this route and insist on riding on the main road ? CRAZY ?

  11. A cycle route along the old railway line would be great for Lichfield residents wanting a day out at Chasewater, but it’s not much use for Burntwood residents wanting to go to Lichfield for shopping, work or any other reason. Every time I drive along the A5190 I see pedestrians walking through the mud on the verge and cyclists risking their lives by cycling along this extremely dangerous road. The answer is simple, to put a foot and cycle path alongside the road to join with the existing paths at either end. People have been calling for this for years. It would also give Lichfield residents a safer route to Chasewater.

  12. Whilst this would be a welcome improvement, with all the talk of reversing the Beeching closures lately a new rail line would serve Burntwood much better.

  13. @Grumpy Old Man. What cycle path? There’s none between Burntwood and Lichfield. Once you reach Lichfield the painted red strip at the side of the road is full of potholes and parked cars. What cyclists need are decent paths so they don’t need to cycle on dangerous roads. They don’t need to be forced off the road onto something even worse. Meanwhile we would be grateful if motorists could be considerate when passing vulnerable cyclists. Most are of course.

  14. A Greenway linking Brownhills to Lichfield would be an asset to the local and wider area. Joining up with the existing Greenway from Brownhills to Walsall it would be a great use of currently unused land and would bring money into the area. Look at the south staffs railway walk in Lower Penn and Wombourne, it supports 2 cafes, local bike shops and business in general and is a similar length. A Greenway is for everyone, walkers, joggers, horses and cyclists.

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