Coastal path to cut walking distance from Weston to Clevedon

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

A coastal walking and cycling route connecting Brean to Clevedon will be joined up, but there are still ‘funding hurdles’ to overcome.

North Somerset Council’s planning and regulatory committee approved plans at its meeting on December 12 to build a 1.4km shared use walking and cycling path at Tutshill Sluice, linking Kingston Seymour and Wick St Lawrence.

It will cut the amount of time it takes to get between Weston and Clevedon.

The plans also include a bridge over the River Yeo in Congresbury and a replica of the former Wick St Lawrence Station Halt building.

Deputy council leader Elfan Ap Rees 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.

“This is a big step forward for this exciting scheme which 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 region’s flourishing cycle network and bringing further economic development to the area.”

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

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It 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.

More than 540 letters of support were submitted to the council.

MORE: Coastal path plan moves a step closer.

Cllr Jill Illes said: “This has been a long time coming, but I can imagine Kingston Seymour is very concerned.

“They have been a village cut off, no-one goes there to go through, there is no pub.

“I hope there will be funding available to help improve the roads in the village.”

The path will also bring health benefits by encouraging a more active lifestyle and reducing travel by car.

Information boards along the route will give details about the history of the area, the lowlands which the sluice gates protect and wildlife.

The council will submit a full business case to the Government’s Department of Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs to secure up to £650,000 of funding.

The possibility of having equestrian use on the path will also be explored.