Brean to Clevedon coastal path heads a step closer

Lord Lieutenant for Somerset Annie Maw was on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Picture; N

Lord Lieutenant for Somerset Annie Maw was on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Picture; Neil Gibson - Credit: Archant

Plans to join up a coastal walking and cycling route from Brean to Clevedon have moved a step closer to becoming a reality.

Planning permission is being sought to build a 1.4km walking and cycling path at Tutshill Sluice, linking Kingston Seymour and Wick St Lawrence.

The path, which follows a section of old railway line, will enable cyclists and walkers to cross the Congresbury Yeo river, providing a quiet route between Clevedon and Weston.

The route will reduce the distance between Weston and Clevedon town centres by about four miles for non-motorised traffic and improve safety by avoiding the busy A370.

It will encourage more active travel for people and those visiting the area and reduce travel by car, as it helps those wanting to commute by bike.

Information about the history of the area and detail about the lowlands that the sluice gates protect will be provided on information boards along the route. Details about local wildlife will also be included.

The path, to be made from stone recycled from old road surfaces, will be an important further step in linking up the regions coastal towns and follows the success of the Brean Down Way which opened last year.

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Cllr Elfan Ap Rees, North Somerset Council’s executive member with responsibility for sustainable travel said this was a big step forward for the scheme.

He said: “There are still some hurdles to overcome, notably finding an affordable solution to separating farm animals from cyclists and pedestrians on a section of the route but this is a welcome development for this exciting scheme that will provide a key link in the Brean to Bristol route. The path will benefit both locals and visitors by providing an excellent addition to the regions flourishing cycle network and bringing further economic development to the area.”

An expression of interest of up to £650,000 towards the project has been given approval by the Government’s Department of Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs. A full business case to secure the funding is due to be submitted if planning consent is granted.

The council has also promised £150,000 for the project if a bid for a £1.75million Local Growth Fund grant is successful, and another £65,000 in ring-fenced cash from the Local Transport Plan.