WALKERS, runners and cyclists will get a much smoother journey along the Thicket footpath between Houghton and St Ives as a new £300,000 surface is being laid by Cambridgeshire County Council.

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Work starts on Monday (January 7) and is due to be completed by March. It will include resurfacing about one kilometre of the existing path as well as major repairs to other sections. The route will be 2.5 metres wide in most areas and will replace the existing path from Thicket Road in Houghton to Westwood Road and Barnes Walk in St Ives.

The improved pathway will also form part of a planned, mostly traffic-free cycling route, linking Huntingdon and St Ives.

CCC said to make sure work was carried out as quickly as possible and ensure public safety, the path will be closed until March 12. Access to properties and fields will be unaffected.

The scheme will be funded by local developers, Sustrans, the sustainable transport charity, and the Department for Transport’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF).

County Councillor Ian Bates, cabinet member for growth and planning, whose ward includes Houghton and Wyton, said: “This will be a welcome improvement for the people of Houghton and Wyton. It is already heavily used by pedestrians and cyclists and it also offers an important route to employment sites, St Ivo School and the sports centre in St Ives.

“In Cambridgeshire, the LSTF funding is being used for a programme of measures to increase sustainable transport around the county. The improved path will help to make the transport network more accessible and joined up.”

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