The cycle ride into town is going to be smoother following Bath & North East Somerset Council’s success in securing a share of a 19m Cycle City Ambition Grant which the Department for Transport has awarded to the West of England to boost cycling within cities.
Upgrading the Kennet and Avon tow path is one scheme that will benefit as a result of Bath benefitting from a £3.8m share of the funds, which will be used to fund three key projects around the city centre.
The cycling schemes proposed will be delivered over the next three years, and have been chosen for their potential to make cycle journeys a realistic choice for quick, reliable and convenient short journeys within Bath.
The proposed schemes are:
1. Kennet & Avon Canal tow path. To enhance the traffic free route into central Bath along the tow path by upgrading the surface and widening the path for 2.44km along the NCN4 cycle route to benefit cyclists and pedestrians. This includes the path between Grosvenor Bridge and the tow path. Estimated cost £675,000.
2. Halfpenny Bridge. To widen the bridge, or construct a new bridge alongside the existing structure, to span the River Avon and link up the Bath Spa Rail Station with Rossiter Road for cyclists. Estimated cost £1.82m.
3. Locksbrook Railway Bridge. To provide a new crossing for pedestrians and cyclists over the River Avon, linking the Railway Path and Two Tunnels. Estimated cost £1.3m
Cllr Caroline Roberts, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “This investment allows us to continue with our plans to develop a cycling culture in Bath for people of all abilities. The proposed schemes will benefit pedestrians as well as cyclists, supporting our aim to make Bath the UK’s most walkable city.
“This links with the priorities in our transport strategy, Getting Around Bath, which emphasises the need for sustainable travel to reduce congestion, support economic growth, and enhance the city’s unique heritage status.”
By encouraging cycling and walking for short journeys within the city, the Council is working to reduce congestion, improving air quality and reducing delays for essential car journeys.
The bid for the £19m capital funding was submitted in partnership with Bristol City and South Gloucestershire Councils.