The disused rail line from Kingham to Bourton-on-the-Water is flat, relatively undeveloped, usefully sited and travels through beautiful countryside. It joins Bourton-on-the-Water and Stow on the Wold, the beating twin hearts of the Cotswolds, to Kingham Railway Station and on to Oxford, London, Worcester and Birmingham. Giving the old line a new life as a multi-use trail would be a headline attraction, encourage active transport to and around Bourton and Stow, bring employment and sustainable tourism to areas currently only reached by car or coach, and reduce environmental harm.
Whilst the gains are immense the full project would need the backing and agreement of numerous stakeholders, including landowners, parish, district and county councils. This, the first stage, is to identify the costs, benefits, hurdles and opportunities. This will be done by a feasibility study using Sustrans, the national charity that has experience of numerous similar projects elsewhere in the country.
What we'll deliver:
- The national experts (Sustrans) will tell backers if and how it can be done
- The idea of the project will interest and enthuse the local community
- We will have a clear idea of the strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats
Why it's a great idea:
A direct walking and riding trail through open and mostly flat countryside between the major villages and the mainline station would bring enormous benefits to the environment and to the health and welfare of the local community. It would give access to and from the national rail network without the need for a car or a parking ticket. It would allow and encourage people to walk or ride safely and peacefully through countryside and in the fresh air. Local people will be able to travel, perhaps commute, and keep fit at the same time. It will bring sustainable tourism to the centre of the Cotswolds from London, Oxford and Birmingham. It would serve the local villages and also the local tourist attractions (the Cotswold Farm Park and many others) and make them less dependent on visitors in cars and coaches. At Kingham people could even ride or run a bit further, and on to Chipping Norton or Daylesford.
The feasibility study will, for a small cost, tell if and how it can be done.
Steps to get it done:
- Completed Feasibility Study.
This is a project for the community, bringing people together to consider and hopefully embark on a joint and major project that will be in everyone's interest. It could the beginning of a transformational project for this area, opening the Cotswolds as a centre for sustainable and educational touurism. It will give a better future for the health, employment and happiness of the local community.