'Positive steps' could see popular Weston-super-Mare cycle route extended
PUBLISHED: 11:00 02 January 2018 | UPDATED: 11:08 02 January 2018
A popular cycling route which connects Weston-super-Mare to Brean Down could be extended to Burnham-on-Sea, Berrow and Brent Knoll.
Brean Down Way opened in July this year and has proved extremely popular, with more than 28,000 trips recorded crossing the River Axe sluices in its first seven weeks – enough to make it the most heavily-used cycling route in Somerset.
Greenways and Cycleroutes Limited, the charity which opened up Brean Down Way, is now working to create links to Burnham which would allow part of the route, if approved, to be opened by 2019.
Burnham and Highbridge town councillors Phil Harvey, Andy Brewer and Janet Keen have met with John Grimshaw from Greenways to discuss plans to extend the route by creating a triangular circuit to join the three areas at a cost of £229,000.
Cllr Harvey said: “The meeting was a very positive one.
“We are all enthusiastic about the proposals and will present a report at the beginning of February outlining what our next steps are going forward.
“We are hopeful of getting all the necessary backing in favour of funding these proposals as they fit in well with town council’s aspirations and the neighbourhood plan, which encourages such links.”
The biggest potential stumbling block for the proposed route concerns Burnham and Berrow Golf Club, as 800 metres of the path cuts through its land and ‘detailed negotiations’ regarding the Berrow coastal path are ongoing.
Earning the golf club’s support could see the proposed route north and south of Berrow Church opened by 2019.
In a detailed document outlining potential routes, Greenways noted that a route alongside the coast and Berrow Road all the way through is not possible.
At the north end, almost the entire distance from Brean Leisure Park to Weston Road is tightly constrained, and similarly in the south, through Burnham, there is insufficient space for a separate path as a good quality, traffic-free circuit.
The group has instead proposed a triangular circuit, which is described as being ‘a self-contained tourist attraction eight miles long which will also provide alternatives to a sizable section of the main road.’