Taunton – Bishops Lydeard Cyclepath

There has been much talk of a cyclepath between Taunton and Bishops Lydeard but precious little sign of it materialising.  The A358 and B3227 are fundamentally unsafe for use by cyclists.  Although that doesn’t stop me occasionally using the A358, I don’t see many other cyclists on the road – the traffic is simply travelling too fast on a narrow and winding road.

Climate Change and fuel prices will necessitate changes to the way we travel.  Journeys like that between Taunton and Cotford/Bishops Lydeard are perfect for the switch from car to low/no carbon alternative.  At about 6 miles, the journey can be cycled in around half an hour saving more than 7kg of carbon per return trip (Source: Defra 2012)

In addition to the environmental (and health) benefits of cycling, I believe that such a cyclepath would prove a tourist hit as well, with the popular West Somerset Steam Railway terminal in Bishops Lydeard being a large potential draw. The cycle path would also provide a valuable off-road link between Cotford St Luke and Bishops Lydeard.

Despite regular shows of support from local residents, this plan seemed no nearer to fruition.  So I’ve decided to really press the issue with the Council to make sure it maintains a high profile in future Transport Plans. I have teamed up in this endeavour with Quantock Eco and have been elected Chairman of the Cycle Path Sub-Committee. We have recruited the sustainable transport charity, Sustrans, to the cause and they have prepared a proposal to undertake a detailed study into the feasibility of the cycle path. We now need to raise £7,500 to pay for the study. If you have any fundraising ideas please let me know; or you can make a donation at the cycle path’s Facebook page here.

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