The scheme will involve constructing a 1.4km shared use path for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders linking Wick Lane in Wick St Lawrence to Yeo Bank Lane at Kingston Seymour. The path will follow an existing farm track built on the line of the former Weston, Clevedon and Portishead railway line which closed in 1940.
In addition to the off-road cycleway the project will include:
- constructing a new agricultural crossing over the Congresbury Yeo which will help ensure safety by separating farm animals from path users on a section of the route
- building a replica of the former Wick St Lawrence Station Halt at the entrance to the cycleway off Wick Road
- additional highway works in Kewstoke and Clevedon and signage and road markings along the whole of the Weston to Clevedon cycle route.
Planning permission for the £2.045m scheme was granted in December last year. The council has already secured a grant of £645,000 from the Rural Payments Agency to cover the construction costs of the cycleway and is awaiting the outcome of a bid to Highways England for £1.4m to cover the cost of constructing the agricultural crossing.
Subject to this bid being successful, it is anticipated that work will start on the scheme in July.
The cycleway will be promoted as a ‘Pier to Pier’ recreational route from Weston’s Grand Pier to Clevedon Pier, reducing the current journey between the two piers from 27kms using main roads to 21kms on minor roads and off-road cycle paths.
It will provide a quiet 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 reducing travel by car.
The cycleway supports the council’s emerging Climate Strategy and Action Plan which aims to tackle the causes and consequences of climate change with a raft of measures including promoting sustainable travel choices and increasing the walking and cycling network across the district.
A Weston to Clevedon Cycleway is a long-held aspiration of the council. It was first proposed as long ago as 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 project forms the central section of the council’s proposed ‘Coastal Towns Cycle Route’ which aims to create a high-quality cycle and pedestrian route linking Bristol. Portishead, Clevedon, Weston and Brean.