Location plan showing the proposed route.
We should see a decision soon on a local authority bid for £890,000 in Government funding to improve a 1.5km walking and cycling route between Combe Down and the University of Bath.
Bath & North East Somerset Council is proposing to create better facilities for pedestrians and cycles along the existing shared use path through Rainbow Wood and Claverton Down, as part of its active travel strategy.
The plans include improved road crossing facilities at three points with two new parallel crossings. These are similar to zebra crossings, but with a separate cycle crossing adjacent and parallel to the pedestrian part of the crossing, improving safety for all users and giving both pedestrians and cycles priority over motor vehicles.
The existing zebra crossing on North Road, near Shaft Road, would be converted to a parallel pedestrian and cycle crossing.
Both junctions at either end of Copseland would be improved, allowing pedestrians and cycles to cross safely between Quarry Farm Lane and the University of Bath. Designs for these junctions are underway and are likely to include pavement widening and a parallel pedestrian and cycle crossing at the Copseland/Oakley junction.
The existing 1.3km shared use path through Rainbow Wood and Claverton Down would also be upgraded with a hard surface to improve conditions for both walking and cycling.
The proposals are part of the council’s vision for active travel, promoting safer, healthier and more convenient ways to travel for short journeys on foot or by bike.
The Combe Down to University of Bath scheme would be funded from a bid being made to the Government’s Active Travel Fund Tranche 3. The West of England Combined Authority has made the bid for £890,000 from the fund on the council’s behalf.
In June the council’s cabinet agreed to proceed to the Traffic Regulation Order stage for three active travel schemes: A4 Upper Bristol Road, A36 Beckford Road, and this scheme from Combe Down to University of Bath. Government funding for the first two schemes has already been secured and the North Road scheme will now be the subject of a Citizens’ Jury or other form of deep public engagement.
Councillor Manda Rigby, Cabinet member for Transport, said: “The Combe Down to University of Bath scheme is part of our vision to create safe, continuous walking and cycling routes throughout Bath and North East Somerset. We want to make it easier for cyclists and pedestrians to safely navigate across the busy roads that cross Copseland, creating a quiet, low traffic route that links with the wider cycle network.
“We believe this ambitious scheme both meets our aims of promoting active travel as well as the government’s criteria for bold schemes that provide proper separation of vehicles from other road users.
Councillor Sarah Warren, deputy Leader and cabinet member for Climate Emergency & Sustainable Travel, said: ““We are improving this important route from Combe Down to the University of Bath to enable safer cycling and walking, encouraging people to steer away from using their cars for short journeys. This improved route across Claverton Down is the next phase in our vision of a cycling route linking residential areas with educational establishments across the south of the city.”
The council is also looking at options to provide a direct cycle route to Ralph Allen School, giving more pupils the opportunity to cycle to and from school.
The West of England Combined Authority’s ‘Prospectus’ which asks the government for new investment across the sub-region under the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement fund includes transformational improvements to walking and cycling infrastructure in B&NES, to make active travel options safer and easier to use and improvements to key travel corridors.