Upgrade for part of Strawberry Line after community fundraising success
- Credit: Axbridge-Cheddar Cycle Walkway
A path connecting a Somerset town and village has been transformed after months of fundraising efforts in both communities.
A long-awaited upgrade to the Axbridge-to-Cheddar Strawberry Line path was finished just before the new year.
Members of the Axbridge-Cheddar Cycle Walkway (ACCW) group raised more than £12,000 and achieved their 2020 vision.
The money raised paid for contractors to remove vegetation, shift 50 tons of mud and resurface the path with a hardwearing surface.
ACCW member David Parkin said: "We've achieved the 2020 vision for the Axbridge-Cheddar Cycle Walkway - to get a narrow section of the road resurfaced and free from muddy puddles.
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"Thanks to a big push from paving and driveway company Landscapes West before Christmas, 50 tons of mud and vegetation was scraped off the road before they put down a good depth of base and finishing stone.
"Bristol Water has also promised to keep its side of the fence clear of vegetation."
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The campaign gathered pace last year, and the Axbridge to Cheddar Cycleway was created more than 30 years ago, after a schoolboy suffered an accident when he was cycling to The Kings of Wessex Academy, in Cheddar, from Axbridge.
The route was created from a closed part of the Strawberry Line to provide children with a safe route to school, which is also used by walkers and cyclists, and it is maintained by volunteers.
ACCW member Malcolm Conyers said: "Many people chipped in through Justgiving online to support the cause.
"Cheddar Parish and Axbridge Town Council gave generous donations, and an amazing sponsored walk was organised, which raised more than £500.
"What really cracked the match-funding campaign was the award of £5,000 from the Somerset Community Foundation through Hinkley Point C's community fund.
"We also had a very substantial donation from the Riverside Inn, in Cheddar, which got us enough to our target to start work on the route before Christmas."
The charity now needs a top up of its reserves to fund maintenance works for the cycle path scheme.
To donate towards the upkeep of the path, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/axchedsafe