May 2022 – The Lias Line, Warwickshire

The Lias Line, Warwickshire (named after the Blue Lias cement works at Long Itchington, which kept the branch open to goods traffic until 1985). In October last year, work began to extend the Offchurch Greenway to Marton Junction, and thence along the Weedon Junction branch to the Grand Union Canal (SP 410645) near Long Itchington. The extension will add an extra 3¼ miles to the Greenway along infrastructure owned largely by Railway Paths Ltd to create what will become Warwickshire’s longest railway path and off-road active travel route. When finance allows, Sustrans plans to extend the path north from Marton Junction towards Rugby, on the line from Leamington Spa. The first step on that section will be to remove the bridge over the A423 by Marton station, which is the most expensive in the Railway Paths portfolio, due to regular lorry strikes. The abutments will be retained as supports for a replacement with a higher arc in due course. (James Winstanley)