Building company resurfaces bridleway to provide safe route for riders and walkers

Cemex general manager Lewis Coxon and Frances Leonard at the newly resurfaced bridleway.

Cemex general manager Lewis Coxon and Frances Leonard at the newly resurfaced bridleway. - Credit: Cemex

A former councillor has proudly unveiled her final legacy - a resurfaced bridleway stretching more than 700m through the St Albans countryside.

Prior to the recent elections, Frances Leonard, who served as district councillor for Sandridge and Jersey Farm for many years, had been working to improve the bridleway running parallel to Oaklands Lane from the Coopers Green Lane roundabout to the site of building company Cemex.

But even though she lost her seat in May's vote, she is pleased to see the project reach its fruition.

Frances explained: "The field behind was quarried some years ago and the land reinstated, but there was a bridleway that crossed the land that had to be diverted when quarrying started. The surface of the diverted bridleway was very poor and, when I got involved through other work that I was doing with a resident of Smallford, we decided to approach Cemex to see if there was anything that they could do as it certainly wasn’t fit for use by cyclists and horse riders as it was too dangerous.

"Last October I arranged a meeting with Cemex general manager Lewis Coxon and his colleagues to discuss options. The reception we received was very encouraging with Lewis agreeing immediately to the bridleway work. The new bridleway is clearly already being used by horse riders, cyclists and pedestrians, and my ultimate aim is to provide a safe walking route from Jersey Farm/ Marshalswick to the large amount of open space at Smallford and the Alban Way beyond."

She added: "I was particularly impressed with the helpful and positive attitude shown by Lewis, and with his help, there are already plans to make further improvements along the route. I need to engage with other agencies, mainly the county council, to make further connections along the route but, having such fantastic support from a company working locally is very encouraging."