Council bids for cash to aid cycle path project and extend Strawberry Line

PUBLISHED: 12:00 26 April 2018

Archway at the start of the Strawberry Line cycle way.

Archway at the start of the Strawberry Line cycle way.

Archant

A funding bid for almost £2million to improve sustainable transport schemes, including a cycle path between Clevedon and Weston-super-Mare and an extension of the Strawberry Line, has been launched by North Somerset Council.

North Somerset has bid to the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for a £1.75million Local Growth Fund grant, council documents have revealed.

The lion’s share of the cash would be earmarked to support the ongoing regeneration of Weston town centre but, if successful, £150,000 of the grant has been promised over three years to the Coastal Towns Cycle Route (CTCR) project and the proposed extension of the Strawberry Line.

The council has also pledged £65,000 in ring-fenced cash from the Local Transport Plan to the project.

The council hopes the CTCR will link Clevedon and Portishead with Weston, Brean and Bristol – and the grant would be used to pay for surveys and feasibility studies, which would be used to support further bids to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and Highways England.

The Strawberry Line nature trail is a popular route for cyclists, stretching from Cheddar to Yatton Railway Station.

Last month, Yatton Parish Council said there are hopes of extending it from Yatton’s North End to Clevedon, and talks are underway with Highways England as how to navigate a way around the M5.

The CTCR has been described as a ‘corporate priority’ in a decision notice signed by Elfan Ap Rees, the council’s executive member for strategic planning, highways and economic development.

It added: “The CTCR will create a commuter route and sustainable tourist attraction between the coastal towns within North Somerset.

“The long-term aspiration is to connect the coastal towns of North Somerset to Brean in the south and Bristol to the north. This will create a long-distance, mainly off-road and quiet road trail, connecting the towns. This will have benefits for commuting, congestion reduction, as well as tourism and business locally.

“North Somerset Council is also developing a proposal for cycle hire, which will take advantage of this new attraction and provide jobs and growth.”

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