THE new cycle and walking route through Kings Park has now been opened and is ready to use.

The sustainable travel route, funded by the south east Dorset transforming cities fund, has created new, separate walking paths across Kings Park from the Ashley Road entrance to the new toucan crossing in Harewood Avenue.

Among the first cyclists to try out the new facility was local commuter Paul Ottaway.

He said: “This is a vast improvement on the old route through Kings Park. Before, cyclists and walkers had to use the same narrower path which wasn’t ideal.

“Now we both have our own separate lanes, which is a lot safer. The new tarmac surface is also much smoother and pot-hole free, making it so much easier to ride than the old path.

“All in all, this has made my cycle ride across Kings Park a lot more pleasant and safer.”

Councillor Mike Greene, BCP Council’s portfolio holder for transport and sustainability, said: “The new route brings real benefits for all users of Kings Park whilst helping to encourage sustainable travel.

“It provides the separate cycle and walking lanes, which many people have asked for, as well as the extra lighting and new informal pedestrian crossings for improved safety when walking or running in the park, particularly after dark.

“I would like to thank all the local residents and park users for their patience while this project was under construction, and I hope everyone benefits from using these new facilities and that they make Kings Park a more enjoyable and safer place to be.”