‘Cycle superhighway’ to Bristol included in plans for three villages

Taylor Wimpey has put cycling 'at the heart' of The Vale plans.

Taylor Wimpey has put cycling 'at the heart' of The Vale plans. - Credit: Archant

A ‘cycle superhighway’ connecting North Somerset to Bristol city centre will be created, if plans for 4,500 homes materialise.

Developer Taylor Wimpey hopes to create three villages, collectively called The Vale, on greenbelt land near Long Ashton – and it believes it would be ‘the region’s most sustainable development’.

Taylor Wimpey says it has put cycling and sustainable transport at the heart of its plans, with the ‘superhighway’ running alongside the route of the Metrobus meaning the city centre can be reached in around 20 minutes on two wheels.

And the developer says it hopes to foster a ‘cycling culture’, if the plans go ahead.

Taylor Wimpey has presented The Vale as an alternative to proposals in the Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) – a masterplan created by councils in the West Country to address the region’s housing shortfall which earmarks Churchill and Banwell for thousands of homes – as it has better transport links and employment prospects.

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But concerns have been raised over potential large-scale development of the greenbelt, and the authorities behind the JSP have submitted the plan to the Government without including The Vale – despite criticism from a number of parish councils.

Project director Gareth Hawke believes there are ‘huge benefits to putting cycling at the heart of The Vale’.

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He said: “It means fewer car journeys; it helps keep residents healthy and it saves them money. The Vale would be just 20-or-so minutes’ cycle ride into Bristol city centre; it would be a pretty flat ride on our new purpose-built cycling superhighway – so, easy for most people.

“This is a real opportunity to get people out of cars and onto bikes.

“As well as the infrastructure we are proposing, we will also be offering bike vouchers with every home purchase.

“Bristol has a great cycling tradition – we think our proposals will make a real positive contribution to that culture, not just through the network of safe cycle routes, but also by creating Bristol’s first ‘maison du velo’ which will sit at the heart of this cycling community, fostering the creation of cycling clubs.

“Even if people only cycle once or twice a week to begin with, it all helps shift people towards more sustainable ways of travelling – and helps create a cycling culture.”

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