North Somerset Council has won £417,640 of funding from Active Travel England to help enable people to walk, wheel or cycle more.

The funding will go towards improving pedestrian and cyclist crossings over roads, safety improvements on routes to schools and opening up a new section of The Strawberry Line.

A number of crossings will be improved by reducing the waiting time at priority locations across the area, providing a new zebra crossing on a route to school in Weston and safety improvements to some of the Festival Way’s junctions.

The council has also received funding to make safety improvements outside several schools through the provision of ‘School Streets’ and to provide a small but key section of ‘missing link’ to open up The Strawberry Line in Yatton North End, helping to link into the upcoming Pier to Pier Way route (Weston to Clevedon).

This funding is great news for North Somerset. It will help local families by improving road crossings and routes to school and open a new section of our much-loved Strawberry Line for all to enjoy. I hope these changes will help people to make fewer car journeys, which is better for everyone’s health and wellbeing, helps to protect our environment and makes the area safer too.

Cllr Hannah Young, Executive Member for Highways and Transport at North Somerset Council

The Duck Lane link will provide a safer and greener route from Yatton onto the quieter roads to Kingston Seymour, offering better connection between Clevedon and Yatton.

Sue Cooper, chair of the Strawberry Line Clevedon Group, and resident and business owner in Clevedon

This is also an important milestone towards the bigger ambition for a more direct traffic-free route from Yatton to Clevedon, extending the Strawberry Line route already in place.

Cllr Steve Bridger, ward councillor for Yatton

Safety and accessibility will be at the heart of improvements. The creation of walking and cycling routes will encourage more children to walk or wheel to school, improve safety for women travelling alone as well as improve access for people in wheelchairs and mobility scooters, ensuring streets are more inclusive.

Alongside the environmental benefits, the plans will help ease congestion in our towns and villages, with people choosing more active choices which can benefit their mental and physical health and wellbeing and relieve pressure on the NHS.

Additional scheme ‘development’ funds were also received to help the council in preparing for future investment in infrastructure.

This grant is part of the £200 million of Government funding for cycling and walking schemes, helping to promote healthy travel, reduce emissions and grow the economy.

We want to make sure everyone across the country can choose cheaper, greener and healthier travel, while we continue to support our local businesses and grow the economy.

This £200 million investment will improve road safety, ease congestion and ultimately improve the health and wellbeing of the millions of people choosing active travel.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper

By giving millions of people the freedom of choice to walk, wheel or cycle for everyday trips, this funding will help us improve public health, tackle climate change and give hundreds of thousands of children the independence to travel safely under their own steam.

Now our focus is working with councils to get these schemes built swiftly. We’ll be working together to ensure the projects are well designed and effective, so that they bring maximum benefits to communities and help improve lives nationwide.

National Active Travel Commissioner Chris Boardman

Press release by North Somerset Council.

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