Bristol City Council backs £2.3million cycle route to Bristol
PLANS for a £2.3 million off-road walking and cycling route linking North Somerset with Bristol have moved a step closer after Bristol City Council gave them the go-ahead.
North Somerset Council is also due to have its say on the proposals, which would see a path from Millennium Park in Nailsea snake its way towards the railway line and along the completed Flax Bourton Greenway.
It would then proceed through Ashton Court and along the Cumberland Basin, enabling people to cycle or walk in and out of the city safely, avoiding the busy A370.
The Festival Way, as it is known, is being developed by Sustrans, the UK charity enabling people to make more of their everyday journeys by foot, bike and public transport, alongside the two councils.
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The route is being funded in part from a £50m grant, awarded to Sustrans in 2007 to develop new walking and cycling routes across the UK, by the Big Lottery Fund.
About £750,000 is also being funded by the two authorities.
Sustrans South West regional director Adrian Roper said: "It's great news that Bristol City Council has approved these plans, the Festival Way will be a much-valued link for residents in North Somerset and Bristol, allowing people to cycle and walk in and out of the city avoiding the congested and dangerous A370."
Bristol City Council's executive member for Cycling City, councillor Dr Jon Rogers, said: "This path will form a key strategic route into the city from the south west of the city.
"It will open up a safe and enjoyable route for people cycling and walking to the Ashton Court estate, UWE's creative arts school and commuters into the city. This is a great example of how the Cycling City project and Sustrans are working together to bring major improvements to the city."
Sections of the route in Bristol are already open for use. Work has also now been completed on a new light-controlled toucan crossing over Clanage Road.
The crossing will make it safer for walkers and cyclists to get across the busy road, provide an improved link to Ashton Court, the University of the West of England and the off-road path to Ashton Avenue Bridge.
North Somerset Council's central area planning committee will discuss the plans on Thursday, November 4, and Mr Roper added: "We are encouraging people to write and show their support for this project."
Nailsea Town Council has already given its seal of approval for the plans.
Chairman councillor Rod Lees said: "It is going to be great. The link path will mean that it will take about 20 minutes to get into Bristol and will provide a great opportunity to just go in and get some food or something to drink.
"We would actually like to see the link extended to Clevedon. We have even looked at a route ourselves to go from Millennium Park, to North Drove and Nailsea Wall, without having to go on any roads."