Council launches £1.75m bid for town centre improvements and cycle routes

PUBLISHED: 12:00 26 April 2018

Regent Street : Town Centre.

Regent Street : Town Centre.

Archant

The regeneration of Weston-super-Mare town centre and plans to create a cycle route to Clevedon could receive a £1.75milllion cash injection, if a funding bid is approved.

Cycling through nature on the Brean Down Way.Cycling through nature on the Brean Down Way.

North Somerset Council has lodged a bid with the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for cash to aid three projects.

The authority hopes to receive funding to make transport and aesthetic improvements to the town centre, and to enhance sustainable transport links between its coastal towns.

If the LEP – which granted funding for the revamp of the Italian Gardens – approves the application, North Somerset has promised £1.25million will be spent on ‘public realm and bus improvements’ in South Parade and Regent Street.

Elfan Ap Rees, the council’s executive member for highways, signed and submitted the application on Monday.

A decision notice read: “South Parade improvements include better pedestrian and cycling provision, realigning the road layout and bus stop improvements. Regent Street is a similar scheme which will see higher-quality public realm and improvements in bus journey times, along with more consistent provision for walking and cycling.”

Approximately 20 per cent of the grant – £375,000 – would be spent on improvements to Uphill Road North, part of the Coastal Towns Cycle Route which will connect with Brean Down Way.

A smaller chunk of £150,000 would be spent on studies as part of the council’s plans to create a cycle route between Weston and Clevedon, and extending the Strawberry Line.

A total of £470,000 in ringfenced money from the Local Transport Plan has also been pledged to the three projects by the council.

Archway at the start of the Strawberry Line cycle way.Archway at the start of the Strawberry Line cycle way.

The cycle route is a ‘corporate priority’ in the notice signed by Cllr Ap Rees.

It read: “The Coastal Towns Cycle Route will create a commuter route and sustainable tourist attraction between North Somerset’s coastal towns.

“The long-term aspiration is to connect the coastal towns of North Somerset to Brean in the south and Bristol to the north.

“This will create a long-distance, mainly off-road and quiet road trail, connecting the towns. This will have benefits for commuting, congestion reduction, as well as tourism and business locally.”

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