One of the biggest projects planned by Sustrans using money from the Big Lottery Fund has moved a step closer to reality after Bristol City Council's Planning Committee gave the go-ahead to a new cycle path running through the city’s Ashton Court Estate.
The route forms part of the Bristol-based sustainable transport charity’s £2.3 million Festival Way linking the city and North Somerset, which is being developed in partnership with Bristol City Council and North Somerset Council. Funding for the project is also being supplied in part by Bristol’s Cycling City project.
According to the Bristol Evening Post, the initiative received unanimous approval from the Planning Committee, whose chairman, Councillor Sean Beynon, said: "This was a thorough, thoughtful and well-designed application. Routes like these will really help encourage people onto their bikes, both for commuting and leisure."
Adrian Roper, Sustrans South West Regional Director, commented: "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."
Next Thursday, North Somerset Council will consider a planning application for further section of the route and Mr Roper said: "We are encouraging people to write to the Council and show their support for this project."
Nailsea Town Council has already approved the plans, with its chairman, Councillor Rod Lees, saying: "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.”
He continued: "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."
Councillor Dr Jon Rogers, Bristol City Council executive member for Cycling City, 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."
Parts of the new route are already in use, including a light-controlled toucan crossing on Clanage Road, designed to improve the safety of walkers and cyclists and providing a link to Ashton Court, the UWE and an off-road path that provides a link with Ashton Avenue Bridge.
Scheme Manager Jon Usher said: "The new crossing is an important part of the Festival Way. No longer will walkers and cyclists have to take their life into their own hands when crossing the busy Clanage Road, and it will provide a fantastic new option for people wanting to make local journeys without using their car."
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.