A new woodland walk and cycle path along a former freight railway loop line in Coventry is to be ready for the City of Culture celebrations in May 2021.

The final phase of Historic Coventry Trust’s plan to create a two-mile circular walk and cycle route on the disused rail line was approved by council planners last week.

The £700,000 scheme will create a new leisure route from Gosford Green towards the Sherbourne viaduct, before looping back along the River Sherbourne, past the historic Charterhouse and ending at Far Gosford Street.

Part of the Trust’s wider plans to redevelop the Heritage Park, the plans will breathe new life into a site which has been out of use since the sixties.

Phase 2 was approved in October and Phase 1 saw permission granted last week, with work now set to commence in the New Year.

The walk and cycle route along the old Loop Line
The walk and cycle route along the old Loop Line

Graham Tait, assistant director at Historic Coventry Trust, said: “We are delighted that Phase 1 of the Loop Line project has been approved by planning.

“Coventry City Council are delivering the works, which will start in early 2021, and are set to be completed by the start of the City of Culture celebrations in May 2021.

“The Loop Line was originally laid out as a bypass for Coventry station for goods traffic only.

“It was completed in 1914 and closed in 1963. The disused line was sold off and acquired by Historic Coventry Trust in August 2018.

“Natural re-wilding has created urban woodland on the line, and is now protected by tree preservation orders.

“Once finished, the Loop Line will link Gosford Green and Charterhouse Heritage Park, allowing walkers and cyclists to enjoy a wildlife-rich area that connects two important historic sites in the city centre and the countryside.

“Phase 1 already has funding and we are actively seeking funding to complete the whole of the Loop Line as soon as possible.”

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