Dormice put the brakes on opening of cycle path
firstname.lastname@example.org It’s hard cheese for cyclists who were hoping to use a new £1.2million path, the opening of which has now been delayed until next year, due to the presence of dormice!
We previously reported how the new cycle and footpath linking Ashford town centre with Park Farm would be open from this summer.
Construction has been completed on the majority of the 1.6km ‘Greenway’ route, with the first section – running from Asda supermarket in Kimberley Way through the Willesborough Dykes – has now been built.
The second phase, connecting the Dykes to Park farm via the A2070 Hamstreet Road, was under way but the Highways Agency has had to halt construction due to the presence of the furry critters in the area.
An Ashford borough council spokesman said: “We were informed last week that the discovery of dormice along the route of the proposed path adjacent to the A2070 Hamstreet Road means the delivery programme will be slightly delayed.
“The Highways Agency (HA) will now need to obtain a licence from Natural England and establish an acceptable habitat mitigation plan before they can proceed with the construction of Phase II.
“This process is under way, but it will delay the construction start until January or February 2014, putting the opening date for the path back to spring 2014.
“The HA expects to have a landscape contractor on site in September undertaking vegetation removal and site clearance in advance of the dormouse hiber- nation period, which begins midOctober. They will not start construction until early next year.”
What do you think? Write to Kentish Express, 34-36 North Street, Ashford, TN24 8JR or email email@example.com
The cycle path and walkway from Asda to Park Farm still remains unfinished because of dormice