I recently wrote to the Sustainable Travel and Road Safety team at NSC about their plans to provide a safe cycle/walking route linking our village to Portishead and/or Clevedon. I include the reply from North Somerset Council below.
Dear Cllr Baulch,
Thank you for contacting us about the Gordano Greenway and associated plans, and your interest in promoting active travel, which is very much appreciated.
As you know, the North Somerset Coastal Towns Cycle Route is very much a priority and the Gordano Greenway will form the next section of that route to be developed once the Weston-super-Mare – Clevedon section is fully underway. Unfortunately, the development of routes such as this, where land must be negotiated and other permissions sought takes a great deal of officer time. Not just our team, but NS Highways and Transport as a whole have been extremely stretched. We also need to respond to where funding is made available, which also very much dictates our priorities – such as under Covid. Funding for inter-urban routes such as this can be very hard to find and we have to put a considerable amount of effort into such bids. However once Weston-Clevedon is open it will be easier to justify the Gordano Greenway case to funders.
We recently published a Draft North Somerset Active Travel Strategy, and this was consulted on early this year:
It is close to being finalised and we expect it to be adopted by the Council in July. You will see that the Gordano Greenway is listed in the proposed schemes appendix as a priority.
In terms of next steps, you may also know we have been slowly progressing plans for the Strawberry Line extension from Yatton to Clevedon, to the point where we cannot lose momentum without risking already secured S106 funding, and a well-developed proposal from Highways England to get us under the M5. We urgently need to focus more attention on this route. However, subject to our Exec Member / Council expectations and priorities, I would hope that we can start looking in more detail at the Gordano Greenway, and be making funding applications in the next year or so. I know this must still sound a long way off, but reflects the position we are in.
Ben Searle Senior Sustainable Travel & Road Safety Officer Place Directorate North Somerset Council Tel: 01934 426962 E-Mail:Ben.Searle@n-somerset.gov.uk
Post: Sustainable Travel & Road Safety Team, Town Hall, Walliscote Grove Road, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1UJ Web:www.n-somerset.gov.uk