01/05/15

Thousands turn out for Welly Walk

Almost 2,700 people walked the new Heysham to M6 Link Road route on Sundays Welly Walk organised by Costain and St John’s Hospice. The walk offered the local community a fantastic opportunity to see up close how their new road is being constructed.

The walk set off from Lancaster & Morecambe College, where the registration desk queue stretched through the newly built college carpark. People were entertained by Considerate Constructors mascot, Ivor Goodsite.

The walkers were able to see the development of the new bridges and structures including walking through Thorpeview Underpass, passing over the temporary canal bridge, and walking under the Lancaster Road Bridge and Carus Bridge.

The last 1km of the walk involved passing through earthmovers Walters’ fleet of dumptrucks and plant. This included an opportunity to sit in the monster truck capable of carrying 40 tonnes of earth, the children (and grown-ups!)  relished the chance to with lots of photographs taken.

The walk ended at Costain’s Lune North site where the huge 1200 tonne mobile crane was situated as it completes the bridge section lifts needed for the Lune West Bridge over the River Lune. The walkers were able to walk under the huge 71metres long and 4 metre high girders that will form the landmark bridge across the river.

“The link road has been at the forefront of the local community for many years and it is one of the main topics of conversation for many local people.  The community engagement with local residents in the area has been fantastic and we thought a Welly Walk presented a great opportunity to show our support and raise money for both St John’s Hospice and the Costain 150 Foundation,” said Tom Horton, Costain’s Community Relations Officer working on the project.

Social media was awash with positive comments about the event. Phil Corris, a retired Police Officer who took part in the walk said, “It was an excellent afternoon. Great fresh air, fantastic views, very interesting and above all brilliantly organised. I was just so impressed, as was everyone around me. Top marks to Costain and St John's Hospice for a great one off event and some richly deserved finances.”

Costain Project Director Andrew Langley said, "The weather was absolutely fantastic, and I've got to say a huge thanks to everyone who's come along to enjoy the walk and raise money for the two charities. The Walk is quite unique to the industry, which was only possible due to the hard work and commitment shown by the hospice staff, the team delivering the scheme, and by the organisations that provided much needed provisions for the event.”

The walk ended at the projects Lune North site where everyone received a complimentary muffin and a drink and free return travel to the college in one of 10 buses kindly provided free of charge from Kirkby Lonsdale Coach Hire.

Head of Fundraising at St John’s Hospice, Catherine Butterworth, was delighted at how the event had gone, “Organising an event for this many people is a real challenge and we simply couldn’t have done it without the fabulous help and hard work from all our volunteers and supporters. Working with Costain has been great too and they did a fantastic job in preparing the route for everyone. This event has raised over £20,000 for St John’s Hospice and Costain 150 so huge thanks to everyone who took part.”