Campaign for safe pathway pays off after seven-year fight to connect communities

PUBLISHED: 12:00 16 March 2020

Coffin Lane footpath campaigners with County councillor Bob Filmer.

Coffin Lane footpath campaigners with County councillor Bob Filmer.

Archant

The first stages of a campaign for a safe walkway and cycle route between a village and town have been given the green light after years of campaigning efforts.

Campaigners from the Coffin Lane campaign.Campaigners from the Coffin Lane campaign.

The Cross to Axbridge Safe Path Campaign, formally known as the Coffin Lane Campaign, has fought for people who walk or cycle between Cross and Axbridge safely since 2013.

After seven years of campaigning efforts, Somerset County Council will now install a pedestrian refuge in Cross on the A38 and install a path from the road up to the gate at Springs Farm in Cross Lane leading towards Axbridge.

Road signs will also be installed on the A38, and the group hopes the signs will slow traffic approaching the refuge and the junction from Bridgwater Road.

View of Cross Lane.    Picture: Mark AthertonView of Cross Lane. Picture: Mark Atherton

The path in Cross Lane will also see streetlights installed to provide safety for people who use it.

The next steps are to upgrade the pathway which runs through fields beside Cross Lane connecting with the road near Prowse Lane in Axbridge.

Wells MP James Heappey cuts the ribbon to open the piece of footpath in 2015.Wells MP James Heappey cuts the ribbon to open the piece of footpath in 2015.

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Campaign chair for the group, Tess Gill, said: 'It is essential there are no more delays to the scheme, as heavy traffic on the A38 Cross Lane junction and in Cross Lane will only increase following planning permission to build 110 homes at Round Oak Road, 60 at Steart Farm, 115 at Lower New Road, 100 at Yeo Valley and more in the Cheddar Valley awaiting approval.

'The risk to pedestrians and cyclists who have to walk or cycle in Cross Lane is unacceptable and dangerous.

'We will continue work with Compton Bishop Parish Council and Axbridge Town Council, and our county councillor Bob Filmer, to press for the earliest start date.

'The need for safe, off-the-road passage between Cross and Axbridge becomes more urgent every day, with increased traffic rising from housing construction and Hinkley Point C.'

The group will now work to install gates at the start of the footpath to make it accessible for wheelchairs, mobility scooters and pushchairs.

The next steps also work towards installing fencing to separate the path from cattle so the route is 'safe for all to walk between both communities'.

Work is due to start after April 19, and the group will gather at The New Inn, in Cross Lane, on April 1 at 7pm.

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