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Issue 305 – ‘Frome’s missing link’ Bid to bring cycle network into the heart of Frome

A campaign to bring the popular Colliers Way cycle path into the heart of Frome is picking up pace, with Frome Town Council inviting local people to show their support for the project.

The initiative to extend the cycle path into the town is being spearheaded by Sustrans, the sustainable transport charity. Working in partnership with the charity, Frome Town Council is now gauging local opinion on the idea.
Currently, the path stops at Buckland Bridge near Great Elm, denying easy access to the people of Frome.
Headed by Sustrans, other interested parties involved include Frome Town Council and Somerset County Council.
Richard Evans, of the Live2Ride bike shop in Frome has been lobbying the local authorities to support the project. He told the Frome Times, “I’m very passionate about it because it would be massively positive for the town.
“We have people come in the shop from various parts of the country and abroad and they ask about the cycle track, but at the moment we have to point them out of town to Great Elm.
“The roads are so heavily traffic laden heading out of Frome that I wouldn’t want my kids cycling along them. This would be a fantastic opportunity to open Frome up to a great cycle network. Frome is supposed to be a sustainable town, but this would really confirm its status.
“The cycle path is so close that it just makes sense to bring it in to the town – it really is Frome’s missing link.”
Cllr Damon Hooton, chair of Frome Town Council’s planning committee said, “The town council is really excited about this extension and will do all it can to make it happen. We urge people to log on to the weblink and lodge your support.
“In order for it to get off the ground there needs to be enough community support for the campaign. We have already had a lot of support for the idea from around 800-1,000 people.
“The northern end of the old railway from Frome to Radstock has been converted to a multi-user path running through local countryside.
“It has proved very popular with all refugees from motorised traffic that need a smooth path; this includes mobility scooter users, walkers, horse riders and families with young children in pushchairs or learning to cycle. There were over 10,000 cycle trips recorded in 2008 and this is rapidly increasing.
“There is a temporary cycle route from Frome down Egford Lane and up the very steep hill after Little Elm pond, all signed as National Cycle Route 24. Not surprisingly, not many people use it!
“The railway from Innox to Buckland bridge used to be dual track though only one track is now used and the bridges have been singled. To use the vacant side would need substantial fencing, at least two new bridges and tunnelling through a singled bridge under the A362.
“Other routes are possible but none would have such easy gradients as the rail route. They would be on roads so would not be safe for children, nor would they necessarily be much cheaper.”
The project steering group met on Tuesday 6th July, where future action were discussed. Once a preferred route has been chosen, funding will need to be found.
To register your support, log on to www.frome-tc.gov.uk/Core/FromeTownCouncil/Pages/Colliers_Way_Cycle_Path__4.aspx
For more information about the existing cycle path log on to www.colliersway.co.uk.

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