Campaigners welcome seeing work get under way on long-planned project

Work has finally started on the Two Tunnels project in Bath, which will provide a four-mile cycling and walking route between the city and Midford using the route of a disused railway line.

The £1.9 million project has been championed by sustainable transport charity Sustrans and local campaigners the Two Tunnels group, who are delighted that it is finally turning into reality.

Frank Thompson from Two Tunnels Group told BBC Points West: “"Like all the best projects it was dreamed up in a pub - the Raven in Bath - with nine people who thought it was a good idea."

Fellow campaigner Gitte Dawson added: “I am excited that we are finally putting the first spade in the ground. Lots of people have done a great deal of campaigning, fundraising, planning and publicising to get to this point."

The project uses the disused Devonshire and Combe Down tunnels, which once formed part of the Somerset & Dorset railway line, as part of its route, and the northern entrance to the Devonshire tunnel in Linear Park is now being cleared.

Malcolm Shepherd of Sustrans, which is provising £1 million of the cost of the project through the Big Lottery Fund as well as more than £220,000 of Cycle 2 Schools money, told the BBC: "It's a very ambitious project, but it's very popular and will be heavily used."

Further details of the project and updates on its progress can be found on the Two Tunnels Greenway website.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.