A TOTAL of £356,000 funding for improvements along a section of the popular Wirral Way in the borough has been secured. 

It is estimated more than half a million people visit it each year

The Wirral Way is a path on the track of an old railway that goes from West Kirby to Hooton, offering views over the Dee Estuary to Wales.

Originally the railway formed a circuit of Wirral and this is the missing link*. It can be used by cyclists, walkers and horse riders.   

The funding gained by Cheshire West and Chester Council will improve access and widening of approximately 2,850 metres of the six-mile Wirral Way pedestrian/cycle route, managed by the Council, from the park entrance at Hooton Station.

The work will focus on the 1.8-mile section between Hooton to Hadlow Road, being partly funded by S106 and Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) as a result of the Roften development nearby.

Path surfacing will be improved and widened to three metres (where physically possible) along some of the narrowest sections within the country park, with new benches, signage, fencing where needed, managed verges for wildlife, as well as improved access and entrances – all to upgrade the visitor experience at this award-winning Green Flag country park.

Recycled materials are being considered for the path surface construction and within some of the retaining structures needed at the entrance point.

Cllr Karen Shore, the council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for environment, transport and highways, said: “The project is being undertaken as part of the 50th Anniversary Celebrations, with the aim of improving public safety and access for users, recognising both a general increase in visitor numbers over the last few years and a large increase in visitor numbers since the opening of the new Roften housing development at Hooton.

“The work is being closely managed taking consideration for ecological constraints and is currently planned to begin in July 2024 and will be ongoing until winter.”

Works will be delivered in phases to reduce the impact on users, however some closures will be necessary to ensure safety, due to the narrow aspect of the route in this location. Users will be able to access the Wirral Way from Heath Lane during this period of closure.

Actual dates will be confirmed nearer the time and details will appear on the council’s website.