Highways England announced today it will give North Somerset Council the final £1.2m needed for a scheme to build 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.
Planning permission was granted in 2018 and the council has already secured a grant of £639,559 from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development to cover the construction costs of the cycleway.
The money from Highways England will be added to £100,000 already invested by the organisation and will cover the cost to build an agricultural crossing to separate farm operations from path users on a section of the route.
The path will follow an existing farm track built on the former Weston, Clevedon and Portishead railway line which closed in 1940. The project will include highway works in Kewstoke and Clevedon, signage and road markings along the whole of the Weston to Clevedon cycle route, as well as a replica of the old Wick St Lawrence Station Halt at the entrance to the cycleway off Wick Road that will be built in conjunction with the Weston, Clevedon, and Portishead Railway Group.
North Somerset Council 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, first proposed back in 1979.
“It will give 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.”
Highways England Route Manager Sean Walsh said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with North Somerset Council to realise this project – a glowing example of how this funding can make life better for communities living and working near our roads.”
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 (17 miles) using main roads to 21kms (13 miles) on minor roads and off-road cycle paths.
The project, which is planned to start construction next year, 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 to Portishead, Clevedon, Weston and Brean.