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.

11 Responses to Taunton – Bishops Lydeard Cyclepath

  1. Dave says:

    I have banged on about safe pedestrian / cycle routes from Cotford St Luke for years but no one seems to do anything.

  2. Huw says:

    I’ve been asking for a safer road from Pen Elm to Cross Keys for years. I managed to get rumble strips but they will not even concider reducing the speed to at least 30 MPH. They have a 30mph at Silk Mills on a well lit clear straight road but not the A358 where we have pockets of small communities. I would love to cycle with the Kids to school then on to work in Taunton but it’s way too dangerous. I can’t even cross the road where we live as traffic is going above the 40 and then they look at you as if your in the wrong for crossing your own road. A cycle path would link up all the communities like Cotford and Bishops Lydeard and keeping us all healthy.

  3. This sounds like a good idea as there is no doubt that off road cycle paths can be very popular as many cyclists do not want the stress of mixing with traffic.

    I have recently cycled the Bristol to Bath and also the Budleigh Salterton to Exmouth paths which both follow the path of disused (or partially used) railway lines, and have the added benefit of shallow gradients.

    In fact this proposed path is very close to the path of “National Cycle route 3” and it could easily form part of the path if it was built. I think it is the charity “Sustrans” who manage the national cycle route network and they actually instigated the Bristol to Bath path in the 1980’s.

  4. Helen says:

    Has this cucle path been built yet? I was under the impression it had but the threads here suggest it hasnt as yet.



  5. Kay Oxley says:

    What about a silent auction made up from donations from local people and local businesses?? Always made us a reasonable amount of money on the School PTA.

  6. Rob c says:

    Hi can you post a link so I can donate cant find it on the fb page


  7. Rob says:

    Hi Mike

    Could you put a link somewhere o donate as I can’t find it on the Facebook page? I am keen to donate.

    How close to the target are you?

    All the best


  8. JT says:

    Any progress here? A cycle path between Cotford and Taunton would be a godsend. It’s so dangerous trying to cycle along the B3227; at night it’s almost a suicide mission.

  9. D Chedgey says:

    Hi, I wondered how far along this had come since last year. I am just about to start cycling from Cotford to Bishops Lydeard with my 6 year old to Beavers on Friday evenings & am very nervous about the Main Road in between the villages – I also need to start considering using the busy B3227 to travel to Taunton every day on the Bike & wondered if I would have to risk this for much longer?

  10. Dave says:

    The proposal for Taunton Garden Town states “Well-integrated green infrastructure projects will lie at the heart of Taunton. Enhanced pedestrian and cycle links from the town out to the Quantock Hills AONB” Does this mean that some of the extra funding Taunton will receive will be spent on the cycle path from Bishops Lydeard to Cotford St Luke to Norton Fitzwarren and Taunton. https://www.tauntondeane.gov.uk/irj/go/km/docs/CouncilDocuments/TDBC/Documents/Press%20Releases/2017-01/Taunton%20Town%20Garden%20Expression%20of%20Interest.pdf

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