Bishops Lydeard/Cotford St Luke to Taunton CycleWay

New CycleWay
Campaign For New CycleWay

Are you a keen cyclist? Do you risk your life cycling into Taunton?

Why not  join us and help with our campaign?

Plans for a cycle route between Bishops Lydeard and Taunton have long lain on the books and Quantock Eco has now taken on the task of driving this project forward. We have formed a special Committee with some of our members, parish councillors and the West Somerset Railway.

A cycle route will provide many benefits, including: -

Health – the route is a perfect length for commuting taking just 30 mins to cycle into Taunton, similar to peak-hour driving times, and will encourage people to switch from their cars;

Safety – the existing routes between Taunton and the villages are busy, major roads, with narrow width and winding nature making them particularly dangerous for cyclists;

Tourism & Economic Development – the route will draw additional tourists into the area and encourage them to stay longer, spending more.  We expect benefits to accrue to the famous West Somerset Railway, which would mark the northerly terminus of the cycle route. It will also help people avoid ever increasing fuel costs;

Environment – providing an alternative to road-based transport will reduce emissions (around 7kg of CO2 emissions per round trip) as well as reducing congestion on the roads

The preferred route is along the railway line and cyclists would then be able to join existing and proposed cycle paths right into the centre of Taunton. The planned route also includes a connection between Cotford St Luke and Bishops Lydeard to provide a safe traffic free alternative to taking the road between the two villages.

The Committee is now seeking funding for a feasibility study to examine the engineering and land ownership issues associated with construction.  The study will also provide a clear indication of the costs of construction.  The feasibility study is a crucial first step. Provided it gives the green light to the route, it will formalise this aspirational plan and enable Quantock Eco to apply for funding to construct the route.  It is important to note that the cycle route would not interfere with WSR’s short-medium term ambition to lay a second track between Bishops Lydeard and Norton Fitzwarren, a sustainable transport solution in itself, and one that Quantock Eco fully supports.

Next Steps Quantock Eco needs to raise £7500 and is now launching a campaign to do just that.  We will be seeking funding from public bodies and charities but we will need donations from the public too if we are to get over the initial hurdle of demonstrating feasibility.  Sustainable Transport charity, Sustrans, have provided advice and will undertake the feasibility study. Receiving funds from a wide public base of support will also improve our ability to tap funding from public/private bodies for the construction phase.  Donations can be made via PayPal www.facebook.com/TauntonCyclePath

For more information, please contact Mike Rigby, Chairman of Quantock Eco’s Cycle Path Committee on Tel: 01823 430852 or 07800 858828, Email: mike@mikerigby.org