Rural Footpath Upgrades Coming to Chilmington GreenPublished: 13/04/2023
Ashford Borough Council and Kent County Council have been working together to improve accessibility throughout the South of Ashford Garden Community. Plans to upgrade public rights of way (PROWs) in Chilmington Green were shared at the same workshop events held over January and February.
The diagram below shows the existing context of PROWs with phased improvements overlaid. The upgrades will include resurfacing, improved drainage and new gateways.
These changes should make the routes more easily enjoyed by walkers and cyclists. In addition to the capital works, more signage and wayfinding aids will be installed to complement the upgrades.
This work is part of the Garden Communities programme funded by Homes England (central government body responsible for delivering new housing and associated infrastructure). The routes were identified as important linkages between the new build areas and will, over time, become central thoroughfares for active travel.
The importance of promoting sustainable transport, active and healthy lifestyles is critical to the success of the Garden Community.
Many residents welcomed the footway upgrades but highlighted that even some of the recently resurfaced routes are still laying wet during heavy rain.
ABC and KCC are working together to address these issues and to ensure this next phase of work is done to a high standard.
Concerns were also shared about connectivity to the future Secondary School which received planning approval last year.
The wider development plan includes this necessary infrastructure but it will take continued public/private partnership working led by ABC and KCC to ensure infrastructure delivery keeps up pace with this growing community.