Tag Archives: Portishead Clevedon Pill Abbots Leigh

Missing link to go ahead between Kingston Seymour and Weston-super-Mare

We are very pleased that planning permission has been given to the missing link on the Clevedon & Weston cycle route. We strongly supported the application, as below, and the original 2012 one (Clevedon & Weston Cycle Route). It can be discouraging that things take so long, but good when progress is made.

Note however that this proposal involves sharing the route with cattle, which is a big issue on the Festival Way. See below for three proposals from BCyC member David Neale to avoid this.

18/P/4758/FUL Construction of a 1.4km shared use cycleway on a section of the old railway line running between Wick Road, Wick St Lawrence and Yeo Bank Lane, Kingston Seymour including a new farm bridge over the Congresbury Yeo, and the erection of a replica of the former Wick St Lawrence Station Halt building. |Land To The North Of Wick Road Around Tutshill Sluice Wick St Lawrence/Kingston Seymour

Link to the planning application

Bristol Cycling Campaign strongly supports this planning application. We would particularly emphasize the following advantages of the proposed scheme:

Commuting benefit:

Using the proposed new link, the distance between the edge of Weston and the edge of Clevedon will be about 5 miles, the shortest route being flat and mainly along traffic-free paths and quiet lanes. This will be within the capabilities of a wide range of potential cyclists. Currently the shortest available route is nearly twice that distance and includes a section of  A370 with fast-moving traffic. Only a tiny minority of potential cyclists would be willing to ride the existing route. Therefore the new link will make cycling to work or college (or for other necessary journeys) between Clevedon and Weston a practicable possibility for many more people. Enabling and encouraging people to cycle these journeys is in the public interest, as it reduces congestion and pollution, and improves public health. It will also open up job opportunities in Clevedon for people in deprived parts of Weston for whom the bicycle may be their only transport option at certain times of day/night (e.g. shift workers).

Tourism benefit:

The route also has significant tourist potential. Many cycling groups in the “West of England” region (including Bristol Cycling Campaign) organise cycle rides to places of interest. The availability of the new link will significantly increase the likelihood that such rides will visit Clevedon and Weston, providing extra trade for businesses in these towns. Such rides would normally start from Bristol or from a railway station, and therefore no parking would be needed at either end of the proposed new section of cycle path. More generally, it cannot be emphasised too strongly that the vast majority of potential users of the new cycle path will want to use it as part of a longer bike ride and therefore the shortage of car parking at each end of the proposed new path is unlikely to cause any significant problems (and concerns which have been expressed about this are greatly exaggerated).

We therefore strongly urge the Planning and Regulatory committee to approve this planning application in their meeting next week.

For the future we suggest that North Somerset Council should aim to extend the cycle path in each direction, either along further sections of the disused railway, or alongside the proposed national coast path, or ideally both. This would further shorten the distance for people who need to travel between Clevedon and Weston, as well as opening up the route to an even wider range of potential users.

This is the supplementary proposal (full plans here Weston-Clevedon Options from David Neale 2018):

As I’m sure you know, planning permission has been granted for the difficult “Tutshill” section of the Weston – Clevedon proposed cycle route (Application 18/P/4758/FUL). It so happens that I devised the route for Sustrans in 2002 as part of their North Somerset Cycle Review for the Council. Of course, I wrote in support of the application but with the recommendation that  the travelling public should not share farm tracks with cattle. I have come to this conclusion as a result of the South Bristol Link Road project where a very good parallel shared cycle path connects to the Festival Way in Long Ashton via a farm track and farm access bridge over the Bypass, both of which are filthy in wet weather. To make matters worse the Council insists, on behalf of the farmer, that cyclists dismount and walk through the filth. I understand the reason for this and regret now that I did not identify the problem at the planning stage. Parsonage Farm has about 40 cows who walk this route four times each day. The Tutshill route is through Yeo Bank Farm that has 600+ cattle using long sections of the farm track / proposed cycle route when they are put out to graze.

Having originally devised this route, I now realise I’m ‘hoisted by my own petard’. I’ve worked hard to find cow-free solutions to the problem and hope my three outline schemes will help the Council choose an excellent connection between the Weston-super-Mare / Wick St Lawrence cycle network and the country lanes of Kingston Seymour.

A Modest Proposal #8: Portishead to Bristol

The November 2017 meeting of North Somerset Cycle Forum considered proposals for cycling and walking improvements between Bristol and Portishead, as part of MetroWest phase 1. Note that these are not part of the current plans which are just about diversions during the 18 month closure of the Pill Path. They are a ‘modest proposal’ put forward by BCyC members in the hope of significant improvements to an increasingly important link, especially in given the explosive growth in use of e-bikes.

By way of comparison, if you cycle to work in Xi’an (pronounced ‘chang-an’) in China on a principal cycle lane you will be one of about 1075 cyclists/hour, of whom 750 will be riding e-bikes. The average speed of e-bikes in Xi’an is 23.6 km/h, which is 71.0% faster than that of bicycles. So, in Portishead an e-biker should anticipate a commute of no more than one hour.

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Closures to river Avon footpaths – for railway and new footbridge

Two sections of the path alongside the River Avon are due to be closed for extensive periods. The first is an 18 month closure of the Pill Path while the Portishead branch line is upgraded for passenger train services, but this doesn’t start until 2020. The second is a section of the River Avon Footpath Path by Cattle Market Road and the new Arena site. This is closed from now until Autumn 2018 while the new St Philips footbridge is built (see picture and visit BristolTempleQuarter for more information).

We got quite excited when opening the email about the Pill Path that this was going to include some long awaited upgrades to Pill Path (see Andy Price’s excellent video Avon Gorge Cyclepath – a neglected jewel). Sadly not (but see update below).

There will be some beneficial changes at either end associated with new stations, but no changes to the tow path itself. Full details are not yet available, but “closures are likely to be for a few hours of a day at a time, and a few days at a time where necessary”. During closures there will be a long detour up through Ashton Park Estate, along the A369 then down through Leigh Woods.

This is what Principal Transport Policy Officer for MetroWest Phase 1, Richard Matthews says:

Our proposals to make temporary and permanent changes to the cycle network, as a part of the MetroWest Phase 1 scheme.

Most of the changes are within North Somerset, but we are making some adjustments in Bristol in the Ashton Gate area.

The part of the MetroWest Phase 1 scheme that will require planning consent from the Secretary of State through a Development Consent Order (DCO), is the re-opening of the Portishead branch line to passenger train services.  This includes a new station at Portishead and the reopening of the station at Pill.

During the construction of the DCO scheme, it will be necessary to temporarily close and divert NCN 26, 41 and in other places to enable work to proceed safely and to create construction compounds and haul roads. These are set out in the attached map .

There will also be a number of permanent changes and enhancements to the cycle network including the diversion of a public rights of way on to the AVTM maintenance path and the creation of a new shared-use ramp at Ashton Vale industrial estate.  These changes are set out in Table 2 MetroWest Schedule of Cycle Network changes 17.08.23.

There is a formal consultation on these proposals from 23 October 2017.

Update  The Nov 2016 meeting of the North Somerset Cycle Forum heard that:

The proposed railway works will provide some potential opportunities to improve the path. It may be needed for access to repair the retaining wall in the woods section. The path may need to be improved to do this, or repaired after the works – either way a repaired / improved path should be provided in mitigation. Also, the railway itself will be used to bring in 100’s / 1000’s of tonnes of stone, so it may be a way to bring in materials. BS to speak with our MetroWest colleagues. This is perhaps a once in a lifetime opportunity to really improve it.

Avon Gorge Cyclepath – a neglected jewel

We strongly recommend watching the whole 14 minutes or so about the much loved Bristol to Pill path. Lots of separate issues are raised. As a one-person effort by Andy Price it’s pretty impressive and deserves a wide audience. We’ll be doing what we can to get the issues up the list of priorities of North Somerset Council, Bristol Council, and Sustrans.

Gordano Greenway linking Clevedon and Portishead

The Gordano Greenway initiative has been set up as a Weston-in-Gordano Parish Council community project to help the increasingly isolated residents who live in the villages of Walton-in-Gordano, Weston-in-Gordano and North Weston.

The aim of this project is to be able provide residents, and visitors alike, with an alternative transport route, other than having to negotiate the increasingly busy B3124. Walkers, cyclists and equestrians all have a right to safe passage to either Clevedon or Portishead without having to resort to using a motor vehicle.

You can register on the project website to keep in touch. Here’s a quote:

The Weston-in-Gordano Parish Council has grown concerned that the community is becoming increasingly isolated as a result of the huge increase of traffic on the B3124. As a result they held talks with John Grimshaw, the founder of the cycle charity Sustrans. John quickly put together a route plan that would provide an alternative cross valley route that would take walkers, cyclists and equestrians off of the busy road

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