Coastal cycle path secures £2m funding
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Funding for a cycle path linking Weston and Clevedon worth more than £2m has been secured.
Highways England will give North Somerset Council the £1.2m needed to complete the scheme to build a 1.4km route for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders linking Wick Lane in Wick St Lawrence to Yeo Bank Lane at Kingston Seymour.
Permission for the path, costing £2.9m, was granted in 2018 and the authority has also secured a grant worth £639,559 from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development to cover the route’s construction cost.
The money from Highways England will be added to £100,000 which has already been invested by the company to cover the cost to build an agricultural crossing along a section of the route.
North Somerset’s executive member for transport, Cllr James Tonkin, said: “This funding from Highways England is fantastic news. Building a Weston to Clevedon cycleway is a long-held aspiration for the council, which was proposed back in 1979.”
The path will follow an existing farm track built on the former Weston, Clevedon and Portishead railway line, which closed in 1940.
There will be signs and road markingss, as well as a replica of the old Wick St Lawrence Station Halt at the entrance off Wick Road. The project will include works in Kewstoke and Clevedon.
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Cllr Tonkin added: “It will give a quiet and safer route for cyclists avoiding the busy A370 and M5 junction 21. It will be designed to accommodate disabled people and will have health and environmental benefits by encouraging an active lifestyle and by reducing car travel.”
The cycleway will be promoted as a pier-to-pier route from Weston to Clevedon’s tourist attractions to reduce the journey between the two landmarks.
Highways England route manager, Sean Walsh, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with North Somerset Council. This project is a glowing example of how this funding can make life better for communities living and working near our busy roads.”
The project is planned to start next year and forms part of North Somerset’s proposed Coastal Towns Cycle Route, which aims to create a path linking Bristol to Portishead, Clevedon, Weston and Brean.