The original plans for this year included the link between the crossing on Westerleigh Road and Broad Lane. Unfortunately land ownership issues have delayed this. The following is now planned for this financial year (that is, by the end of March 2016):
- They have already started on improving the Broad Lane track to the west of the railway. This involves scraping the existing surface off off, building it up, widening it and providing a new surface. They will take this through to the houses at Dodmore Crossing, rather than stopping at the railway line, which will improve the right of way for all users and help cyclists who are linking through to the cycle route signed via Besom Lane and across Wapley Common.
- Putting in level crossing gates where the existing cycle path crosses the railway line south of Westerleigh Road – this will hopefully be complete by Christmas.
- Once the gates are in place, the direction signs will be installed.
- Addressing 3 or 4 locations between the M4 and the new level crossing where water has been running across the path causing rutting – this will probably be done after Christmas.
- To avoid the track going across the Network Rail training centre car park next to the level crossing, a short length of track will be built to take people out on to the Murco access road.
- Officers are looking at a request from the cycle forum to take the path round the corner from the crossing point on Westerleigh Road to the crossing where the bus stop is on the road down into the village.
- During February half term, the road part of Broad Lane will be resurfaced and reconstructed in part.
- It is also hoped to do the section between Nibley Lane and the railway bridge by the Shire Way roundabout, but this wouldn’t include taking the path through one of the unused arches, the path would run down on to the road somewhere before the bridge.
- Some of the funds will be used to undertake surveys for later sections.
The funding for 2016/17 isn’t confirmed yet, but the Yate Spur is still the council’s priority for using any money they are allocated from the Local Growth Fund. The top priority for next year would be to complete the section from Kidney Hill to Broad Lane, ideally in late spring/early summer, but that depends on resolving the land issues. Officers would then assess what could best be done with any remaining money – whether that’s starting the Dodmore Crossing to Nibley Lane section, doing some work on the other side of the railway bridge on Shire Way or taking the path through one of the railway bridge arches. There is unlikely to be enough funding to finish everything in the next financial year.
How can you help?
Although volunteers helped build some of the earlier sections, that isn’t really an option with the current work. You might be able to help maintain the existing path though. Sustrans Rangers currently cover the Bristol and Bath Railway path up as far as Coxgrove Hill, it would be great if this could be extended up the Yate Spur. If this is something you might be interested in, please contact Viv Mundy the Sustrans Volunteer Project Officer (email@example.com) or Michael Pearce who is the local contact for Sustrans Volunteers on the Bristol to Bath path & Yate Spur (firstname.lastname@example.org).