SWINDON could get its first glow-in-the dark cycle path.

Council officers have been looking at the new surfacing as part of planned improvements to Spring Gardens, in the town centre.

They want to tackle contamination, cut back brambles, install a new games area and plant meadow flowers.

The plans were revealed at a meeting of South Swindon Parish Council on Tuesday.

David James, the leisure projects officer at Swindon Borough Council, said that a new three-metre wide cycle path would be installed – replacing an existing muddy path and extending the “Eastern Flyer” cycle route.

“We’re looking at low level lighting for the perimeter path,” he said.

“There’s a new product on the market that’s been used in Cambridge. It sounds horrible, but the aggregate glows in the dark.

“It’s a luminescent surface that looks quite good on paper, but we just have to see if it’s robust enough that it can look after itself.”

In Cambridge, council officers installed 150 square metres of “Starpath” in one park in 2014. The surface soaks up UV light rays during the day, causing it to glow blue at night.

A council spokesman yesterday said that, currently, installing a glow-in-the-dark path was an aspiration. The council would need to be sure that the surface would be long-lasting and maintenance cost-effective before it would be installed, the spokesman added.

It is hoped that work to improve the park will begin shortly after Christmas.

A budget of £100,000 has been set aside for the work – with the majority of the cash coming from developer contributions.

The money will be used to tackle historic contamination, putting a layer of topsoil over an area at the back of the park. An area of brambles will be removed and the tree canopy will be cut back.

David said: “We want to add a bit more interest and colour, starting to differentiate the use areas space with meadow-type flowering grass swards.”

He said that the new meadow planting would require just one cut a year.

Parish councillors were supportive of the plans. Coun Stan Pajak said: “It’s a lost asset. This is such a good idea.”

Coun Paul Dixon said: “ That area does get abused by drug takers and last year another load of fly tipping was dumped on there.

“Anything that makes it more useable has got to be welcome.”

Council officers also hope that a multi-use games area can be installed in the park.

“Volleyball in this area is quite big, so we’ve selected one that is adaptable to volleyball,” said David.

Councillors were concerned about the potential maintenance costs.

Coun John Short said: “Whoever takes it on will need to be assured that there is going to be a maintenance budget.”

However, the park has not been offered to the parish council to manage and it is not expected that the park would change hands from the borough.