VIEWS are being sought to guide a raft of improvement works to parts of Barnsley’s stretch of the Trans Pennine Trail.

Barnsley Council secured a £400,000 grant from the Department for Transport earlier this year as it looks to install a new surface, and improve drainage and accessibility, on the trail through Smithy Wood Lane, Dodworth, to Haverlands Lane, Worsbrough.

Work is hoped to improve use of the trail for people in wheelchairs or mobility scooters, riding a bike, on a horse, or pushing a pram, on a stretch that’s deteriorated in recent years.

The project also looks to create a more wildlife-friendly habitat which is said to act as a ‘natural corridor’ for species including the willow tit – one of Britain’s most threatened birds.

The council is working alongside sustainable transport charity Sustrans on the work.

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Sustrans’ senior project officer in Yorkshire, Sarah Bradbury, said: "This section of the Trans Pennine Trail is a very popular route with all ages and has been particularly well-used in the last few months.

"These improvements will really help to make the path more accessible to people in wheelchairs or mobility scooters and well as prams, larger bicycles or horses.

"If you are local we would really like to hear from you about what additional features, such as benches or local information you would like to see on the path. Please go online and have your say.” 

There is a small additional budget for seating, signage and information boards.

The funding is part of a £21m package from the DfT to upgrade the National Cycle Network across England.

Coun Tim Cheetham, cabinet spokesperson for place, added: "The Trans Pennine Trail is a valuable asset and an important part of the borough, so it's vital that it is accessible for all of our residents and visitors.

"This grant will help us to make the trail more inclusive and make it safer for those who use it.

"We hope the works will bring more people to the trail, particularly those who have not used it before.

"I would encourage our residents to fill in the survey and have their say to help shape the future of the Trans Pennine Trail."

As part of the project, Sustrans is asking local people to offer their suggestions on what features they’d like to see on the refurbished trail.

An online consultation runs until August 24.

To have your say, click here.