The Vice-Chairman of Bath & North East Somerset Council – Cllr Ian Gilchrist – cut the ribbon to officially open a new £890,000 footbridge and cycleway across the River Avon at Batheaston village on Tuesday, 15 July.
Work on the footbridge and a cycle / pedestrian path running through the riverside meadows linking to Mill Lane and Bathampton began on 30 September 2013.
The project was partly funded through the Department of Transport’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund. The initiative has been supported by Batheaston Parish Council since it was raised in the Batheaston Vision Plan in 2009.
Bath & North East Somerset Council Leader, Councillor Paul Crossley, (Lib-Dem, Southdown) said: “This new footbridge and cycleway will improve access from Batheaston to Bath city centre for walkers and cyclists.
“The new route will allow people to travel from the centre of Batheaston via the new foobridge across the River Avon and a three-metre wide path following the river across Council-owned fields to Mill Lane, linking with Bathampton and National Cycle Route 4 on the Kennet & Avon Canal towpath, avoiding the need to use the busy London Road”.
Councillor Caroline Roberts (Lib-Dem, Newbridge ), Cabinet Member for Transport, said, “Bath & North East Somerset Council is proud to open this new walking and cycling route – connecting residents in Batheaston with Bath city centre – which represents a significant improvement to our transport network.
“The route will also provide convenient access for thousands of people living north east of Bath to the National Cycle Network. Ultimately, the Council wants to encourage more people to use more sustainable forms of transport other than the private car.”
The new path will connect the centre of Batheaston via the foobridge across the River Avon to a three-metre wide path following the river across Council-owned fields to Mill Lane, linking with Bathampton and National Cycle Route 4 on the Kennet & Avon Canal towpath.
The Council commissioned architects Howl Associates of Kidderminster to prepare designs for the footbridge, which links Batheaston and Bathampton, and provides a connection to the national cycle network.
Together with Mark Lovell Design Engineers of Devizes, Nicholas Pearson Associates of Bath and Alliance Planning of Birmingham, Howl Associates developed a three-span lattice truss arrangement to help reduce the overall structural height and size of the bridge.
The arched tapering arrangement of the side trusses serves to minimise the length of structure located in front of the Grade II listed wall to Batheaston Gardens.
Adopting a balustrade design that uses a simple array of circular bar uprights also helped to reduce the visual impact of the bridge on the listed wall in views from the adjacent car park.
The design of the bridge and the balustrade to the approaches adopts a simple palette of contemporary materials, with the introduction of trees in this area providing a degree of screening between the bridge approach and Batheaston Gardens.