Crossing funding approved

RESIDENTS in Backwell are finally getting the crossing they began campaigning for 13 years ago.

The Times reported in December the parish council had appealed to Bristol Airport for funds to build the much-needed crossing on the busy A370, following North Somerset Council withdrawing a promised �39,000 towards the scheme in 2010.

District councillor Karen Barclay, who led the campaign, told a meeting of Backwell Parish Council on Thursday, she was ‘delighted’ to announce the grant application had been approved at the first meeting of Bristol Airport’s new community fund management committee.

The grant will be added to the parish council’s pledged �25,000, meaning the user-operated puffin crossing can be installed within the next three months.

She said: “This is wonderful news for Backwell.

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“The village is effectively cut in half by the busy A370.

“Residents of all ages find it increasingly difficult and dangerous to cross the busy road to safely access the shops, recreation ground and other amenities the village has to offer.

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“It has the support of all the local schools and will help with safe routes to and from school, leading to the reduction of car use.

“The crossing already has approval, so I will be working with officers at North Somerset Council to get it installed as soon as possible.

“I am delighted about it.”

Parish council chairman Bob Taylor told councillors: “It would have taken us about two years to get the money ourselves so well done Karen, you’ve done a wonderful job.”

The airport’s community fund, which has donated �18,500 to local projects, was set up as a condition of planning approval for its expansion.

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