The first phase of the new Missing Link walking and cycling route was opened to great fanfare at a celebratory event on Saturday (31st January 2015) afternoon by the Mayor of Frome.
The project was pioneered by local community group, Frome’s Missing Links, working in partnership with Sustrans, which completed the project and design work.
The first phase of the path, which runs from Welshmill to Whatcombe on the outskirts of the town cost £100,000 and was financed by the Mendip District Council’s Local Legacy Fund, Aster Housing, Frome Town Council, the Department for Transport’s Linking Communities Fund and Sustrans.
Rupert Crosbee, Area Manager for Sustrans said:
“The people of Frome have long been frustrated with the difficulty of getting to the Colliers Way. This is the first step towards making it easy and fun to get to nearby towns and some of the best countryside in England. What better way for residents and visitors to appreciate it than getting out on foot or by bike.”
“The short but crucial first phase of the route marks the start of a great future community resource for people to walk and cycle on a safe and enjoyable traffic free route all the way to Bath and beyond.”
“We have had fantastic support from loads of organisations and private individuals who recognise the value of this project, especially Mendip Local Legacy Fund and Frome Town Council. The health, leisure and commuting benefits of this new route will ensure a brilliant return on investment. We must continue the momentum and complete the fundraising for the next phase.”
The second phase, which recently received planning permission, will extend the Colliers Way route towards Frome. £200,000 will be needed to complete the next phase.
Geoff Pell, Frome Missing Links, commented:
“It is amazing what ordinary people can achieve if they set their minds to it. We are a small bunch of likeminded people who perceived that if we didn’t take the initiative, we would be waiting forever for this gap in the cycle network to be closed.”
“We have had brilliant support from the whole community of Frome including two private developers who donated vital strips of land. We have come a long way, it has taken a long time, and there’s still an awful lot to do. Bit by bit we’ll get there, and we are now asking for private donations to help build the next phase so we can really show potential funders that we mean business, and give them good reasons to support us.”