Public give mixed response to new cycle path plans

PUBLISHED: 08:00 10 May 2018

Archant

Plans to build a cycle path connecting Berrow to Burnham have received mixed responses from people.

Berrow Parish Council has wanted to make a path for shared walking and cycling use for more than 20 years.

The project will create a traffic-free path from Unity Farm in Burnham to the Co-operative supermarket in Berrow to avoid the Coast Road for 2.5km.

It is spearheaded by Greenways and Cycleroutes Limited, who also opened Brean Down Way connecting the area to Weston in July 2017.

In March, Burnham and Highbridge town councillors voted unanimously to support the plans, but public consultation has taken place which yielded differing views.

Ray Hughes, of Berrow, said: “Coast Road is not particularly wide, so there is currently no safe place for cyclists, particularly families and holiday makers.

“This would be a great addition to Berrow, hopefully it will get more tourists passing through the town, too.”

Commentator David Jenkins had a different view, he said: “It is not a reasonable development, the surface is unsafe and there are questions to be asked about its positioning to the golf course.”

The biggest potential stumbling block for the route concerns Burnham and Berrow Golf Club, as 800 metres of the path cuts through its land.

Earning the golf club’s support could see the route north and south of Berrow Church opened by 2019.

Greenways said ‘a new fence will serve to prevent trespass and to protect the public from errant golf balls’ but some people do not think this is enough.

MORE: ‘Positive steps’ could see popular cycle route extended.

Stuart Clarke, in his submission, said: “The route is simply too close to the golf course, this is a health and safety issue for pedestrians and cyclists.

“The section between Hurn Lane and Berrow Church has no footway on either side, making this section of road all but impassable in the summer.

“The track looks dangerous too, I would not want to ride an expensive bike along it.”

And fellow member of the public Carol Musgrove said: “I think this is a great idea.

“Connecting the two towns makes a lot of sense, and you only have to look at Brean Down Way to see how successful it can be.

“I think it would prove to be very popular and well used.”

In a detailed document outlining potential routes, Greenways noted a path alongside the coast and Berrow Road all the way through is not possible due to ‘insufficient space’.

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