North Somerset Council has been granted planning permission to construct the £450,000 Uphill Road North cycleway, which will form a key part of the Brean to Bristol route. The shared cycle and pedestrian route will also provide an important off-road link between Weston town centre, Weston College’s Loxton campus and Health and Active Living Centre as well as Weston General Hospital.
Funding for the new route has been provided by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership through the Local Growth Fund and will see the current footpath running along the west side of Uphill Road North widened by two metres, into land currently leased by Weston Golf Club.
Unfortunately an Arboricultural Impact Assessment conducted as part of the planning application found that many of the trees to the west of Uphill Road North actually pose a risk to public safety due to their overhanging of the road and a number will need to be felled. However as part of the project, for every tree removed, two new trees will be planted. The new trees will include Hawthorns, Common Oaks, Maples, Stone Pines and Aspens which are better suited to the seafront location.
The new trees will be planted in two sections: to the west of the existing bank of trees, and to the south which will extend the woodland down to the Uphill Road South junction.
Cllr Elfan Ap Rees, North Somerset Council’s executive member with responsibility for sustainable travel said: “I am delighted we can now start work on this key missing link in the local cycle network.
“The construction of the new cycleway is also an opportunity to improve the overall health of the woodland in the area by removing poor quality trees and re-planting with a greater number of native varieties, covering a much larger area, which will deliver a far greater benefit to local wildlife.
“The new tree-lined route will create a very pleasant off-road cycle route which I’m sure will be well-used by commuters and visitors alike.”
The tree works will start at the end of November 2018 and continue over the winter to minimise any impact on wildlife. A partial lane closure of Uphill Road North will be introduced during working hours to protect public safety. Access to properties in the area will be maintained throughout the works, which are expected to take two to three weeks.
Work to construct the new shared-use path will begin in the Spring and is set to be completed by Summer 2019. The replacement tree planting will follow in autumn 2019.