Gill hosted a Westminster Hall debate this week to highlight the support for the Upper Don Trail and to highlight how it and other trails could be funded.
The Upper Don Trail is an urban-and-natural corridor from the city centre, through popular areas like Kelham Island, Hillsborough, Oughtibridge, and on to Stocksbridge and the Peak District. The 21.5km trail has seen all but 2.5km receive funding to improve and enhance the existing infrastructure.
The Upper Don Trail Trust, a volunteer led organisation who manage and oversee the trail, have declared the stretch of the train between Beeley Wood and Wardsend Cemetery as their priority for funding and development.
The Trust has coordinated funding from the Stocksbridge Towns Fund, from Barnsley Council, housebuilders Bloor and David Wilson, and SUSTRANS.
During the debate, held on Wednesday 19 January, Gill Furniss praised the work of the Trust, who oversees the trail, and the benefits it brings. She said “The trail allows for a vast range of activities, ranging from rambling to rock climbing, cycling to kayaking and enjoyment of nature. The trust works closely with local councils and other organisations to improve the accessibility and prominence of the trail.”
Speaking of the importance of active travel, she said, “The Trust have identified that many are eager to cycle on their commute but find the prospect of mixing with cars on busy roads daunting. This is reflected across the country, with research showing that 62% of adults feel that it is too dangerous for them to cycle on the roads near them. The Upper Don Trail Trust’s plans would allow cyclists in Sheffield to commute through tranquil scenery surrounded by woodland, rather than through loud and busy junctions.”
You can watch the full debate below: