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Landowners near agreement for cycle path linking towns

PUBLISHED: 17:00 16 May 2013

Archant

LONG-AWAITED plans to complete a cycle path linking Clevedon with Weston have moved another step closer to fruition.

The proposal to create the route was first put forward in 1979 and since then, sustainable transport charity Sustrans, and the local authority, now North Somerset Council, have been working to secure permission for it.

Years of negotiations have been held with landowners along the route and, in 2003, Sustrans secured a 125-year lease for a short section of the required land.

Now it looks as though agreements will be signed with landowners near Wick St Lawrence and Kingston Seymour to allow the rest of the land needed to create the path to be secured.

A document due to be signed off by North Somerset Council’s executive member for planning and highways, Elfan Ap Rees, says the council will pay £10,000 compensation to three private landowners in return for permissive path agreements.

When the project eventually goes ahead, the link will follow a similar route to the former Weston, Clevedon and Portishead railway and the tidal sluices of the Congresbury Yeo and Oldbridge rivers.

It will shorten the distance between Clevedon and Weston for walkers and cyclists by four miles and will mean they avoid busy roads.

It has received huge support over recent years and more than 750 people have joined a campaign group backing the idea.

Planning permission is currently being sought for the widening and building up of a former railway embankment at Wick St Lawrence and the creation of a new path and small car park off Yeo Bank Lane in Kingston Seymour. The next stage in the project will be to secure funding.

Cllr Ap Rees said: “This is just another step in the programme which still has to gain construction funding, relevant planning permission and the various other bureaucratic hurdles that always bedevil local authority projects, but we will get there.”

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