PLANS for new walking and cycling routes around the county will be discussed by councillors next week.

The new routes which are being looked at and could be built in the next two years include links between St John’s in Worcester and Rushwick, new routes between the Diglis bridge and the Ketch on the edge of the city and others between Worcester and Kempsey.

A scheme which would see existing routes resurfaced and widened between Diglis and Sixways will also be up for discussion.

Potential schemes also on the table include new cycle routes between Powick and Malvern and the Three Counties Showground and Upton.

Worcestershire County Council’s cabinet meets on Thursday (September 23) to decide on giving the power to Cllr Alan Amos, member for highways, to approve several new walking and cycling routes in Worcestershire as well as put other plans out to allow the public to have their say.

In a bid to get more people walking and cycling, the government introduced ‘local cycling and walking infrastructure plans’ to help councils develop plans for future funding bids.

The council has bid for almost £200,000 in government funding to help produce four walking and cycling plans for Malvern, Droitwich, Kidderminster and Redditch with a decision to be made in the autumn.

If the council does not receive all of the money from the bid, it says it will have to scrap a number of the town walking and cycling plans for this coming year – dependent on the amount of funding it does receive – and bid again in the future.

The bid also includes plans to hire a new member of staff to work with schools, community groups and businesses to encourage walking and cycling for leisure and commuting.

A further walking and cycling plan has been developed for Evesham and the council says plans will be developed for all the county’s towns – including Worcester – when money becomes available.

The cabinet papers show how £784,000 in government emergency active travel funding – which the council only received half of what it bid for – has been, or will be spent on surfacing the canal towpath between Diglis and Sixways and new routes in Pershore and between Worcester and Malvern.