Work has begun on the 3.1-mile Pier to Pier Way, connecting the towns of Clevedon and Weston-super-Mare. The project is part of our Paths for Everyone programme, making the National Cycle Network safer and more enjoyable for everyone who wants to use it.
The highly anticipated route is due for completion in the summer of 2022.
The new route is being delivered by North Somerset Council.
It is funded by National Highways, Department for Transport via our Paths for Everyone programme, North Somerset Council, and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
A long time in the making
Work has been completed over these past years to find a plan acceptable to landowners, stakeholders and funders alike.
The route has received considerable public approval.
A Facebook page dedicated to the project has over 1,500 supporters.
Alongside this, the planning application received over 550 comments and letters of support.
Reducing CO2 emissions in North Somerset
The Pier to Pier Way will provide an important active travel route that will welcome people walking, wheeling, cycling and riding horses.
It is expected to serve 70,000 one-way trips a year.
This will result in 145 tonnes of CO2 savings every year.
Active travel is a vital part of North Somerset Council’s zero carbon ambition.
It has the ability to bring immediate reductions in emissions from the UK’s most polluting sector, and delivers significant health and wellbeing benefits.
Filling in a missing link on the National Cycle Network
This route fills a missing link in National Cycle Network Route 33, between Bristol and Seaton.
The initial work involves building a new river crossing and repurposing existing ones over the Congresbury Yeo and Oldbridge rivers.
This will separate farming works, vehicles and livestock from the public path.
A 1.4km section of new path, following the former Weston, Clevedon and Portishead Railway, will connect to quiet lanes either side.
Improvements to signage and existing route sections will also follow.
And a replica of Wick St Lawrence Station Halt is planned as a gateway feature for the route.
A more direct route between two towns
The attractive new route cuts 6.5km from the current road route between Weston and Clevedon.
It will help people walking, cycling and horse riding to avoid longer and busier routes, including sections of the A370 and junction 21 of the M5.
The Pier to Pier Way will enable more sustainable leisure and tourism, as well as cycle commuting in the region.
A complex and exciting project
Councillor Mike Solomon, North Somerset Council's executive member with responsibility for sustainable travel, said:
"We are very pleased to see work starting on this complex and exciting project which has taken a great deal of unseen hard work.
"We are very grateful for the cooperation and support of the various landowners and stakeholders involved, including the Environment Agency, and not least the confidence of the scheme funders, all of which have been essential to make this scheme possible."
Supporting a modal shift for local trips
Sean Walsh, Route Manager for National Highways, added:
“We’re committed to improving safety and encouraging cycling and walking.
"This new cycle and walking route will make it much safer, quicker and easier for cyclists and pedestrians to travel between Weston and Clevedon, helping to support modal shift for local trips.
“We’re delighted to be partnering with North Somerset Council to realise this project – a glowing example of how this funding can make life better for communities living and working near our roads.”
Creating a safer and more enjoyable route
Jon Usher, Head of Partnerships at Sustrans, added:
“It’s excellent to see this long-awaited project coming to fruition.
"It is part of our Paths for Everyone programme, completing a missing link on the National Cycle Network.
"The route will be safer and a more enjoyable way to travel by foot or wheel between the two towns.
"It will connect two thriving communities and open up a brand new sustainable tourism route for the region - helping the area’s economic recovery from the pandemic.”
The link forms part of the North Somerset Coastal Towns Cycle Route, of which the very popular Brean Down Way has already been delivered.
The final phase will be the continuation of the route from Clevedon to Portishead, with links on to Bristol.
The project is jointly funded by:
- National Highways (formerly Highways England) - £1.3m from its Designated Funds programme designed to benefit people, the economy and the planet with an overall investment of £936m between 2020 and 2025
- The Department for Transport (DfT) through Sustrans' Paths for Everyone programme - £800,000
- The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development - £561,000
- North Somerset Council’s Highways and Transport Capital Programme - £451,000.