Walkers and cyclists in Bitton, Thornbury and Filton are set to benefit from safer routes to schools, work and local amenities thanks to £389,500 of new funding from the West of England Combined Authority.
Three routes set to benefit from the new funding are:
The funding, which has been awarded to South Gloucestershire Council by the West of England Combined Authority, will allow further work on all three schemes, including design work, and help develop Outline Business Cases for additional funding. This adds to almost £9 million of investment in walking and cycling routes by the council over the last three years.
West of England Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “If you’re popping to the shops, going to work or school, I want more people to think walking or cycling is the obvious choice. That will happen when it’s quick, safe and simple. So I’m very pleased that the West of England Combined Authority which I lead is investing this significant sum of money to help make that a reality.
“Over time I’m sure this will mean more workers at Abbey Wood, UWE students, school pupils, and residents from across Bitton, Thornbury and Filton will choose walking and cycling. I’m particularly delighted about the connection between Bitton and Keynsham which is something I’ve had a long-term interest in. Getting people out of their cars and walking and cycling is vital if we’re going to cut congestion and reach our ambitious net-zero targets and of course it’s good for your health too."
The improvements in Filton and Thornbury have been identified through the West of England Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan, and the council has been working with local stakeholders to identify options for improving walking and cycling routes along Keynsham Road.
These routes have been chosen because they are already popular with people accessing employment, schools and other transport options. However, upgrades are needed to bring them up to a standard that will enable people of all ages and abilities to safely cycle and walk along them.
This work is part of the council’s commitment to tackle the climate and nature emergency and support more people as they switch to using more active travel methods to get around.
There will be opportunities for local people to shape the proposals as they are developed across the three schemes. Further updates will be provided to the community as the projects progress.
Steve Reade, cabinet member responsible for transport at South Gloucestershire Council, said: “We want walking and cycling to be credible options for travel for all residents across South Gloucestershire and this funding will help progress schemes in the Bitton/Willsbridge area, Thornbury and along the A4174 Avon Ring Road.
“We are serious about tackling the climate and nature emergencies and we have made a commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2030. Installing safe walking and cycling routes will encourage more people to consider sustainable travel options and help achieve our target.
“The council has invested almost £9 million in walking and cycling improvements in the area over the last three years. Opportunities for walking and cycling improvements are considered as part of all council schemes including major projects such as the Cribbs Patchway metrobus extension and Yate Park & Ride.”