Plans for a safe new cycling and walking route between Willsbridge and Keynsham are unveiled

Part of the route would be off road

People are being asked to have their say on plans for a safe new cycling and walking route connecting the Bristol and Bath Railway Path at Bitton Station to Keynsham.

Following a campaign by the Bristol East Fringe Cycling & Walking Group, which The Week In has helped to support, initial plans for the new route have now been drawn up by South Gloucestershire Council which could see the new path created within two years.

The group, who have been working with the council on the project, this week said they are “delighted” to see the proposals for the ‘Keynsham to Willsbridge Path’ from Bitton Station to the overflow station car park at Keynsham, which include improving the existing sub-standard shared use path along the A4175 Keynsham Road to make it suitable for cycling, walking, and wheeling.

There would be a light-controlled crossing here, one of two on Keynsham Road

Avoiding the roundabout where the A431 Bath Road joins Keynsham Road, users would instead be able to leave Bitton Station, travel along a widened path alongside Bath Road to a new toucan crossing (which has an additional signal for bikes) by The Park. There is an existing public footpath from there which runs through the Jarretts Garden Centre site and comes out on Keynsham Road where there would be another toucan crossing to take users across to the shared use path along to Keynsham. There would be another toucan crossing opposite the Portavon Marina, and part of the route would be off the road and four metres wide.

The existing shared use path on Keynsham Road is narrow in places

The new route is designed to be suitable for use by people of all abilities. The proposals are part of a wider programme of bus and cycle investments and improvements across the region by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA). The Joint Local Transport Plan prioritises the A4 corridor improvements for walking and cycling between Keynsham, Bath and Bristol, and further improvements to public and active travel options within the East Bristol area.

The path by Bitton Station would be widened

The proposed route from Willsbridge to Bitton is separate from, but will complement, the plans being developed by Bath and North East Somerset Council for a bridge across the River Avon at Somerdale to link up with Hanham, which we reported on earlier this month (Issue 767).

The consultation is on South Gloucestershire Council’s website and the closing date for comments is 24th March. The council says it will consider the feedback it gets and will then decide whether to take the proposal forward to secure funding from WECA, and if any changes are needed to the design of the scheme.