An unimpeded pathway along the former Bury Bolton Railway line is taking steps towards becoming a reality in the borough.

Work to create a continuous route has been ongoing for some time, with plans first approved in 2020 for a bridleway between Hardman Street and Lower Spen Moor in Radcliffe.

Council operations director Neil Long has now authorised £15,000 to be spent, using various planning agreement funds, on preparing tender documents for the path to be established.

Councillors have been told that the overall construction contract will be around £150,000, once tenders have been delivered.

A decision notice signed off by Mr Long says: "The conversion of the former railway between Bury and Bolton to a shared use path is a longstanding proposal of the Unitary Development Plan.

"The proposal has been implemented in stages as opportunities have arisen. A continuous route exists in Bolton and the construction of two short sections of new path will provide continuity in Bury.

"Realisation of the entire route has been protracted chiefly because of land ownership issues, which in the case of the remaining two sections of path, have been overcome through a bridleway creation order."

He says since the development plan was adopted four residential developments have been granted planning permission alongside or near the route, generating potential contributions towards the pathway.

Funds available include the extension of Daisyfield Cycleway (£100,000), footpath improvements at Elton Reservoir (£20,000), Daisyfield Cycleway improvements (£50,000) and Bradley Fold Cycle Path - Moss Shaw (£70,000).

Mr Long says the design fees and construction costs will be taken proportionately from these four contributions.