Cycle path connecting Weston to Clevedon could be built 40 years after project proposed
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Work on a key cycle route linking Weston to Clevedon could begin, next summer, if almost £1.5million in funding is obtained.
North Somerset Council's executive will be asked to approve a commissioning plan for the scheme at its next meeting on January 7, which will involve constructing a 1.4km path for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders linking Wick Lane in Wick St Lawrence to Yeo Bank Lane at Kingston Seymour.
Planning permission for the £2.45million scheme was granted last December and the council has already secured a grant of £645,000 from the Rural Payments Agency to cover the construction costs of the cycleway.
The authority is awaiting the outcome of a bid to Highways England for £1.4million to cover the cost of constructing an agricultural crossing.
Subject to this bid being successful, it is anticipated work will start on the scheme in July.
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The path will follow a farm track built on the former Weston, Clevedon and Portishead railway line.
The off-road project will also include a new agricultural crossing over the Congresbury Yeo, a replica of the former Wick St Lawrence Station Halt at the entrance to the cycleway, additional highway works in Kewstoke and Clevedon and road markings.
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A Weston to Clevedon cycleway was first proposed in 1979 and has gained increased popularity in recent years, with a group set up to campaign for the project now having more than 1,300 supporters.
The cycleway will be promoted as a pier to pier recreational route from Weston's Grand Pier to Clevedon Pier, reducing the journey distance between the two piers from 27km using main roads to 21km on minor roads and off-road cycle paths.
It will provide a quiet safer route for cyclists avoiding the A370 and M5 junction 21 and is designed to accommodate disabled people and encourage an active lifestyle.
The cycleway supports the council's emerging climate strategy, which aims to tackle the causes and consequences of climate change and forms the central section of the authority's proposed Coastal Towns Cycle Route, which aims to create a high-quality cycle and pedestrian route linking to Portishead, Clevedon, Weston and Brean.