A new scheme connecting Weymouth town centre with the Relief Road cycle path, from Portland to Dorchester has officially opened as part of this year’s National Bike Week celebrations.
The two-mile (3km) path, which runs through Westham, Southill, Radipole and Redlands, is the final part of long-term project to help reduce road congestion in the area and encourage more people to stay fit and healthy through outdoor exercise.
Dorset County Council’s Cabinet member for environment and the economy Peter Finney said:
“We worked closely with local residents to design the scheme. Following a number of consultation events we were able to adapt the plans to take their comments on board.
“It is wonderful that local children now have a safe and traffic free route to travel to school”.
Costing £985,000, the scheme is a major investment in the town's walking and cycling network – and means that people can cycle traffic free all the way from Portland to Dorchester.
Cllr David Harris, local councillor for Southill said:
“I’m delighted that the new path is now open for use. It provides a superb resource for the community and links the Lorton Meadows and Lodmoor nature reserves with Radipole Lake, the Rodwell Trail, Chesil Bank and Portland, giving a picturesque route for walkers and cyclists.”
With five new road crossings – including the Weymouth Way Toucan crossing at Chafey's Roundabout which opened in March – the network gives people a host of options to safely walk and cycle around the area, getting to school, work or the shops without using a car.
Funding was provided from the Weymouth-Dorchester Corridor LSTF Project, the Department for Transport's Cycle Safety Fund and funding from Dorset County Council.