OVER 200 people walked and wheeled along the Strawberry Line to celebrate the opening of a traffic-free section this weekend (Saturday, November 25).

Many Sandford residents and visitors got dressed up as superheroes in honour of the opening of the Sandford Link, which is part of National Grid’s Hinkley Connection Project.

The new link takes users from Station Road in Sandford north past the substation boundary to cross Drove Way and continue on towards Yatton. This means that people now do not need to travel along the busy and narrow Nye Road, making it safer for everyone.

The section was built by the National Grid as part of the construction of its new Sandford substation. It was created in partnership with North Somerset Council.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Saturday by North Somerset Council’s deputy chairperson, Cllr Peter Crew, and Steven Haskayne, project director for National Grid, who were assisted by local children.

This was followed by refreshments, a raffle, face painting and giveaways.

Steven Haskayne, project director for National Grid, said: “We’ve been working alongside the community here in Sandford for a number of years on the Hinkley Connection Project and we were delighted to welcome so many local people here to celebrate the opening of the new Sandford Link, which routes the Strawberry Line away from busy Nye Road.

"The Link is a direct result of public consultation and has been made possible thanks to the partnership between National Grid and North Somerset Council, which has worked with us from the very early stages to ensure the Hinkley Connection project could be used to make a lasting difference to local people long after our works are completed.”

Cllr Peter Crew, deputy chairperson of North Somerset Council, added: "This will have a positive impact on the experience of thousands of people who visit the Strawberry Line every year. I urge people to visit and use this fantastic asset, whether to enjoy a cycle, walk, run or wheel and just generally enjoy being out in our beautiful countryside."

Chair of the Strawberry Line Society, Mick Fletcher, concluded: "It’s a real asset to the local community and will mean we don’t have to go along a road with all the associated traffic. It’s also really nice to have a car park built as part of the new section, so folk don’t have to park on the road to use the path."