Go ahead for coastal link

Plans to join up a coastal walking and cycling route from Brean to Clevedon have been given the green light by North Somerset Council.

The council’s Planning and Regulatory Committee has approved plans to build a 1.4 km shared use walking and cycling path at Tutshill Sluice, linking Kingston Seymour and Wick St Lawrence. The plans also include a new bridge over the Congresbury Yeo river and a replica of the former Wick St Lawrence Station Halt building.

The path, which follows a section of old railway line, will enable cyclists and walkers to cross the Congresbury Yeo, providing a quiet route between Clevedon and Weston-super-Mare.

The route will reduce the distance between Weston and Clevedon town centres by about four miles for non-motorised traffic and improve safety by avoiding the busy A370.

It will also bring health benefits by encouraging a more active lifestyle and reducing travel by car.

Information boards along the route will give details about the history of the area, the lowlands that the sluice gates protect and local wildlife.

An expression of interest of up to £650,000 towards the project has been given approval by the Government’s Department of Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs (Defra). Now that planning consent has been granted, the council will submit a full business case to Defra to secure this funding.

Cllr Elfan Ap Rees, North Somerset Council’s executive member with responsibility for sustainable travel, said: “There are still some hurdles to overcome, notably finding an affordable solution to separating farm animals from cyclists and pedestrians on a section of the route, but this is a big step forward for this exciting scheme that will provide a key link in the Brean to Bristol route.

“The path will benefit both locals and visitors by providing an excellent addition to the region’s flourishing cycle network and bringing further economic development to the area.”