Use of the Greenway cycle and foot path through Blacon has more than doubled in the last 5 years, with nearly 100 users per hour. More than 85% of those using the converted railway line path rated its current state and its attractive features as ‘Very Good’, with the remaining giving it an OK. These are some of the main findings of a detailed survey of Greenway users carried out on 1st June 2013.
The last detailed user survey was completed 5 years earlier, as part of the justification for the major improvement project that was completed on the Blacon site 3 years ago. This latest survey was managed and resourced by local Blacon Community Volunteers and the Chester Cycling Campaign.
“It was so motivating and enjoyable to help manage the survey”, says local resident Rosemary Burns. “As a community we worked very hard to get the funding to improve this area in Blacon now known as the Old Station site, and it was so rewarding to see it well used and get such positive feedback.”
“It was also great that the majority of users were willing to stop and take part in the survey”, added Rosemary’s husband, Tom. “There are a number of key local residents who work hard to keep the site attractive, including Gerald and Alwyne Watts who are also helping with the survey and who come here to litter pick every day.”
75% of the Greenway users surveyed were cyclists and the rest walkers, many of them with their dogs. Local Blacon residents accounted for 25% of the users. Not surprisingly 80% of them were walking, whereas 95% of the non Blacon resident users were cyclists.
“In line with the overall user increase, it is great to note that 30% of the current Blacon residents surveyed were not using the facility 5 years ago and 50% of non-residents are new users”, added Monica Robinson from Chester Cycling Campaign. “Naturally we are very keen to promote cycling in the Chester area and the support given to our cause by the Blacon Community is really fantastic.”
In addition to the user details that the survey has provided, individual comments will help the Blacon community to further promote and improve the area. Feedback comments most frequently repeated in the survey included: peaceful, natural, safe for children, welcoming, a great link to Chester and the countryside, good surface, lovely wildlife, attractive art features.
Click the link below to read the full detailed results of the survey: