New footbridge revitalises river front

The latest stage in revitalising a river frontage on the outskirts of Bath has been completed.

Now residents are being asked for ideas for new river projects.

Volunteers from the group Bathampton and Batheaston River and Footpath Friends (BABRAFFS), working in partnership with parish councils, secured a grant from Bath & North East Somerset Council’s River Corridor Fund to provide amenities such as seating, tables and notice boards.

A photograph of the volunteers working on the link by Mill Lane, with Cllr Martin Veal

Additional funding from the Avon Frome Partnership has also enabled the construction of a new path and footbridge to create a safe link that avoids the need to cross busy Mill Lane.

Peter Fear from the Bathampton and Batheaston River and Footpath Friends, said: “This small yet very important footbridge marks a major milestone in the volunteer led, Bathampton Meadows Riverside project. It provides a safe and easy pedestrian access from the riverside area to the west side of the very busy Mill Lane.

“The footbridge, expertly assembled by the Cotswold Voluntary Wardens, adds another excellent facility to the very popular and accessible stretch of the river Avon between the centre of Batheaston and the Bathampton Toll Bridge. The hard working volunteer group, well supported by local organisations, have contributed over 300 voluntary hours and have many plans to continue to improve the riverside space.”

Councillor Martin Veal (Conservative, Bathavon North), the Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “I was delighted to see the volunteers in action as they installed the new bridge and lend a hand. The Council’s river corridor fund has really helped to revitalise this beautiful stretch of the Avon and ensure many more people can enjoy using it.”

The work follows the installation a new bridge spanning the River Avon at Batheaston in December 2013.

A connecting cycle path was opened to the public in June 2014.  It was funded by the Department of Transport’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund. 

The new route links the villages of Batheaston and Bathampton and makes it easier to walk and cycle between Batheaston and Bath.


As well as improving access, the route has created a new riverside nature area which is being developed as part of a shared community project bringing together volunteers from the two parishes.


Councillor Veal added: “If people have suggestions for further improvements along the Avon and the canal then there is on-going call for ideas. It is run by Bath & North East Somerset Council, the Canal & River Trust, Wessex Water and the Environment Agency. People have until September 8 to put forward ideas and there could be funding available for the best ones.”


For more information about the call for ideas visit


1 Comment

  1. It’s most rewarding to see a river regeneration plan laid down in 2011 starting to provide community benefits backed by the River Corridor Fund. I would urge all to put forward further ideas to the WaterSpace Strategy.

    I know Cllr Martin Veal, as Chairman of the Strategic River Group is keen to progress river matters, as am I.

    Dave Laming
    Chairman of the River Regeneration Trust
    Member of the B&NES Strategic River Group

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