According to the Rugby Observer, Sustrans has announced plans to add five miles of trackbed in a re-routing of part of the Lias Line, as the section of NCN 41 between Rugby and Leamington is known. Phase 1, which will cost around £4.5 million, will see the ex-LNWR route used between the villages of Offchurch and Birdingbury, connecting with further sections of trackbed at both ends, and leaving a tantalising 2-mile gap at the northern end between Draycote and the Cawston Greenway, which uses the old line through the southern outskirts of Rugby. Currently, the trail makes a significant detour to the east and this project will create a much more direct route. The work will include a new bridge over the A423 at Marton, which Sustrans says ‘is nearing the end of its life’. Local knowledge would be appreciated on this, as a quick glance on Google Earth shows a substantial two-arch structure at this location. The path will also have to find a way around the small industrial estate which occupies the station site at Marton.
If funding allows, a second phase would use part of the old Weedon & Leamington branch, that remained open to Southam Cement Works until 1985. Latterly, trains had to travel south from Rugby and reverse at Marton Junction. The Works were demolished a few years ago and Phase 2 of Sustrans’ plans utilises the branch as far as Stockton Reservoir, a stretch that includes an attractive viaduct over the River Itchen.
The Lias Line is certainly due an overhaul as sections are heavily overgrown, and Sustrans itself identified it as being in ‘poor condition’ at a review last year. (Christopher Homer)
Link to original article https://rugbyobserver.co.uk/news/upgrade-to-warwickshire-cycle-network-takes-shape-25758/