Weymouth already had a number of existing walking and cycling paths but many of these were fragmented and difficult to access. In particular, the Rodwell Trail was a great traffic-free route but it was divided by Newstead Road which meant that people had to negotiate steep ramps and cross a busy road in order to use it. This acted as a barrier for lots of people, particularly for young cyclists and wheelchair users and as a consequence the route was underused. Similarly, the lack of a controlled crossing at Ferrybridge discouraged walkers and cyclists from continuing their journey to the Chesil Beach Visitor Centre and Portland.
“ The new bridge and path is a lifeline for me and my son. We don’t have a car so have always had to brave the school run, crossing the road, pushing the buggy up the hill and getting through the muddy path. It feels so much safer now and my son now gets to use his scooter and bike on the way to school, he absolutely loves it. ”
A new bridge was designed and installed over the busy Newstead Road and now forms a key part of a new route for pedestrians and cyclists from Weymouth to Portland. The new route uses the local railway path and connects through the town centre to the esplanade, providing a valuable link for everyday travel within the area. A new toucan crossing was also installed at Ferrybridge to enable walkers and cyclist to cross the busy A354 along with a new cycle route to the Chesil Beach Visitor Centre. In addition, a new, shared path runs alongside the Weymouth Relief Road giving residents a direct route from Dorchester to Upwey.
The new route has encouraged more local residents to walk and cycle and have considerably improved access to schools, leisure centres, local businesses, visitor attractions, the railway station and the seafront. And fantastically, cyclists and walkers are able to access a direct, uninterrupted route along the Rodwell Trail to Portland Beach. The installation of the toucan crossing at Ferrybridge and improved cycle route to the Chesil Beach Visitor Centre has also boosted the number of cyclists cycling between Weymouth to Portland.
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