A LONG-AWAITED cycling and walking route between Weston-super-Mare and Clevedon will officially open on Friday, July 12.

The Pier to Pier Way is a new 13-mile route designed to appeal to commuters, leisure users, and tourists.

It consists of quiet roads and new or improved traffic-free sections and is a ‘missing link’ and the central section of the North Somerset Coastal Towns Cycle Route.

The project builds on the success of the established Brean Down Way cycle route.

The route provides the opportunity for healthy and sustainable leisure, tourism, and commuting activities that will also boost the local economy.

This project has been made possible by the hard work and co-operation of many stakeholders, including the campaigners who had the original vision, the various landowners, and North Somerset Council staff.

The complex Pier to Pier project involved installing a new bridge over the river Yeo at Tutshill to separate the cycle path from the agricultural traffic in the area.

It includes a new one-mile, traffic-free route crossing the Yeo and Oldbridge rivers and is based on the line of the former Weston, Clevedon, and Portishead Railway.

This link allows pedestrians, cyclists, and equestrians to avoid the busy A370 and save four miles on their usual journey.

The completion of this intricate project was delayed by complications with permissions for the bridge structure and necessary legal agreements with landowners.

Cllr Hannah Young, North Somerset Council's executive member with responsibility for sustainable travel said: "We want to thank everyone who has been involved in this complex project, and in particular our funders, stakeholders, councillors and officers, who had faith in the route and supported the scheme through thick and thin to make that vision a reality.

"I am delighted to see the path open. It is a wonderful route and the missing link in our cycling network, and it will be enjoyed by many for years to come."

The route will officially open on Friday, July 12 at the Tutshill Sluice in Kingston Seymour.

The project has been funded by The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, Sustrans, National Highways, the Department for Transport and North Somerset Council.

Further information about the route including a map can be found at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/piertopierway