In its 40th anniversary year, the Bristol & Bath Railway Path is set to receive major improvements.
A £1.1m investment by the Department of Transport will aim to benefit both pedestrians and cyclists on a stretch of the popular path between Fishponds and its start in St Philip’s.
Built on the former Midland Railway line, the 13-mile long route was sustainable transport charity Sustrans‘ first major infrastructure project and the first route to be built as part of the National Cycle Network.
The Railway Path is now one of the busiest traffic-free paths in the UK, with more than 1000 people an hour passing through the Whitehall section at peak times.
But its popularity has led to some problems including conflicts between users and a number of accidents.
The new funding will aim to reduce these issues through “a community-led redesign project to ensure that users’ needs are truly accounted for”.
James Cleeton, England director south at Sustrans, said: “The Path has been a huge success, but it’s not without its issues.
“We’ve already been working hard to reduce conflict on the route through our One Path Initiative, which encourages everyone to share, respect and enjoy.
“This funding for physical improvements gives us a real opportunity to work collaboratively with all users to seek solutions that represent all stakeholders and to ensure no one is excluded from using this amazing path.”
Deputy mayor of Bristol, Asher Craig, added: “I am delighted that this funding has been secured to make improvements to one of the city’s most important commuter routes.
“The aim is that any improvements to the route will benefit both pedestrians and cyclists and allow everyone to share the path and feel safe while using it.”