Pathway connecting neighbouring town and village wins approval

PUBLISHED: 12:03 05 December 2018 | UPDATED: 12:10 05 December 2018

Campaigners want to see a footpath erected to connect Cross and Axbridge.	Picture: Cross to Axbridge Safe Path Campaign

Campaigners want to see a footpath erected to connect Cross and Axbridge. Picture: Cross to Axbridge Safe Path Campaign

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A pathway which will connect Axbridge and Cross has won approval after years of campaigning efforts.

James Heappey stood with a campaigner at Axbridge farmers market.	Picture: Cross to Axbridge Safe Path CampaignJames Heappey stood with a campaigner at Axbridge farmers market. Picture: Cross to Axbridge Safe Path Campaign

Works to build the footpath could start by autumn next year, which campaigners believe will help save lives.

Members of a council meeting in Compton Bishop backed calls for a safe pedestrian route to connect Axbridge and Cross.

The lack of a fully connected footpath between the two areas has seen people ‘risking life and limb’ to walk along Cross Lane, a 40mph road along the A38.

Plans for street lighting to be put up along the walkway was also approved for safety reasons, which met strong opposition from people who have houses and businesses placed next to the road.

Councillors at Somerset County Council (SCC) approved the plans and said they would “further request Somerset Highways do all which is feasible to minimise the impact of lighting on homes and the environment.”

Chairman of the newly-renamed Cross to Axbridge Safe Path Campaign, Tess Gill, said: “It is excellent news the scheme has been approved, despite the delay in construction caused by the need for a bat survey.

“The project was formerly known as the Coffin Lane Campaign, but it was then changed to highlight future plans for the footpath.

“We are looking at a late autumn start next year, or in spring the year after for the work to be carried out.

“In the meantime, we will continue work jointly with Axbridge Town Council and people living in the town to make the public right of way across the fields which connect the two villages accessible and safe for all.”

Tess is calling for the gates in the fields so they can be more easily used by disabled people and families with buggies.

The footpath will be funded by the SCC’s small improvement scheme, which is designed to fund projects which make changes to problem areas of a communities’ highway.

Three options are being considered for the layout of the footpath, which could cost approximately £75,000.

In December 2015 the SCC enforced a speeding restriction from 60mph to 40mph along the Axbridge sliproad to prevent people from getting injured.

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