In 2021 you helped raised over £14,000 to find a safe and traffic free active travel route between Curry Rivel and Langport. After two years of negotiation with Landowners, the project is close to reaching agreement and now needs to raise the finance to begin the task of clearing land and constructing a path between Curry Rivel and Langport.The project is actively seeking out other sources of funding as well including the local council, Somerset Council and other organisations for grants.
We now need to raise a minimum of £50,000 from the community and other sources. All monies will go towards the cost of clearing the areas (which are very overgrown on two sections) and to construct a resilient path suitable for walking, cycling, prams and buggies, scooters, wheelchairs and motability.
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Please help build a safe, secure and traffic free path between Curry Rivel and Langport.
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We are currently in negotiation with landowners to build a new active travel path between the junction of Dyers Road/Currywoods Way and Westover Langport. An outline of the proposed route is shown on the map to the side. This is not to scale and more detailed design is currently being built. However it gives an idea of the line the path will hopefully follow.
Negotiations with other landowners to upgrade the existing public footpaths linking other parts of the village to the centre and to the eastern edge are still at an early stage still.
We have engaged with the Primary School which is fully behind the project and the councils of Huish Episcopi, Langport and Drayton are currently looking at ways to improve access to better walking and cycling facilities
More recently we have established contact with the Bridgwater Area Cycling Campaign, a voluntary organisation committed to promoting access to safer cycling, walking and all means of sustainable travel.
The Curry Rivel Active Travel is now a working group made up of members of the parish council and the community. In due course we will be calling for volunteers to assist move the project forward in a practical way.
For further information, to get involved please contact:
Tony Greenaway by e mail email@example.com or call: 07563 900646
Curry Rivel Active Travel Facebook Group and members
The Active Travel project takes another step forward
On 1st March Curry Rivel Parish Council formally adopted their Active Travel Links Key Priorities document as their Policy for improving Active Travel in and around Curry Rivel (as well as the preferred route linking Curry Rivel to Langport).
The document sets out the range of measures that CRPC may wish to see delivered within the village and on the route between Curry Rivel and Langport to benefit everyone who lives, works, learns, or visits Curry Rivel. The prioritisation of measures should not be implied by the ordering of the measures outlined on the plans or the order in which they appear in this report.
CRPC welcomes early discussion with interested parties in order to identify how funding or development opportunities might deliver the maximum benefit to the community. The Parish Council welcomes discussions with landowners who may be able to support the delivery of measures within this document
Cycle Somerset, a club with over 100 members, voted at their AGM to make a donation of £500 towards the costs of implementing the proposed Curry Rivel to Langport walking and cycle route which is part of the local active travel plan.
The project is supported by local schools, councils, landowners and businesses. The busy A378 is not suitable for younger or less confident riders and the new route will provide a safer alternative especially for school students.
Feasibility studies have identified several possibilities within Curry Rivel itself and between Curry Rivel and Langport and Huish Episcopi including key destinations such as The Academy and Leisure centre. Permissions are now required to implement the preferred options.
The cheque was presented to Cllr Marcus Hembrow by Graham Farrington chair of Cycle Somerset. Bridge Cycle Club, based in Langport, also came to offer their support for the proposed walking and cycling route
For more information on Cycle Somerset click here.
In 2021 Curry Rivel, a rural community of some 2500 residents in Somerset, was awarded £5k under the Climate Emergency Fund to conduct a feasibility study into an Active Travel to connect Curry Rivel to Langport and Huish Episcopi. A working group raised a further £8.5k through crowd funding and donations from neighbouring Councils and research began late in 2021.
As a result of the research conducted by a leading consultancy company in this field, a detailed report was produced which confirmed the case for a route and offered various options for the working group to consider.
The Working Group has since been extended to include the Parish of Huish Episcopi and Drayton as well as Langport Town Council. Discussions with landowners have taken place to secure their commitment to the scheme. Consultation events have taken place looking at the route options and regular updates on the project have been published via the "Curry Rivel News" monthly publication, the Community website and the Active Travel Facebook Group which now has 210 members.
An online survey provided data on the travel habits of over 120 households in the area and the working group is currently engaged with the local school to assist in achieving Mode Shift (STARS) accreditation which recognises schools that encourage active travel methods for pupils and parents to and from school. Most recently, we have been seeking the views and support from the Langport and Huish Episcopi Youth Club and had very positive discussions with the largest employer in the area about their support and involvement in the project.
An added benefit to the research was that many shortcomings and impediments were identified, for example, the absence of any road crossings on the entire length of the A378 through Curry Rivel, narrow or even no pavements in places, overgrown hedges and verges, national speed limits along narrow lanes. These have the effect of discouraging walking and cycling in Curry Rivel especially for children.
The route that is most likely to succeed runs from the western edge of Curry Rivel along an existing public right of way across fields through to the centre of the village and on to the western edge of Langport.
Recently, further research, funded by the three councils of Curry Rivel, Langport and Huish Episcopi, has been conducted to identify Active Travel options within Langport to key destinations, for example, the Academy, Leisure Centre, and Huish Bridge. More recently, Drayton Parish Council have been considering how existing footpaths might be upgraded to Active Travel routes linking into the proposed Curry Rivel to Langport route.
So that makes four councils working together collaboratively on a common project with a common aim.
Somerset County Council have been very supportive throughout this project and have committed to provide a further £75k to make walking and cycling in Curry Rivel safer. We are currently waiting on Transport and Engineering to conduct surveys on the priority areas identified by the Steering group. In addition, our project is among others being submitted to the Dept for Transport as a bid under the National Active Travel fund.
The recent enquiry into the status of Park Lane, Frog Lane and Huish Drove has concluded that it should be designated a 'Restricted Byway' That decision is yet to be finalised but if and when it is, it could provide further options for the Active Travel route between Curry Rivel and Langport.
So, in collaboration between the four councils and with the cooperation so far of three landowners, we believe we have a viable route that links the eastern edge of Curry Rivel to Westover, Langport. We are in discussions with other landowners on upgrading existing public footpaths to Active Travel routes. We are presently waiting on Somerset County Council to decide if they are prepared to become the legal body to take the scheme on or whether a new body needs to be formed to take on the agreements and overall responsibility for the design, build and maintenance of the Active Travel route.
We have also approached the Greenways and Cycle Routes organisation about their involvement in our project. They have a great deal of experience and are currently working with several local groups of volunteers in Somerset on Active Travel projects.
A great deal has been achieved in the last year or so, but we need to turn the research into action and draw up leasehold agreements with our supportive landowners. This requires further finance as without these agreements in place the scheme is in danger of losing momentum and the interest and goodwill of the community.
If you wish to support us use these links
100 households signs petition for safer roads and pavements
The petition started by the Active Travel Group has now been signed by 100 households in Curry Rivel representing approximately 10% of families in our community. We need to keep pressing County Council to respond to the findings from the research into a safe active travel route within Cirry Rivel and between our village and Langport.
Please visit and support the petition using this link
BBC Countryfile feature cycling in rural areas.
Here's the link
If you didn't catch it on Sunday, this week's episode is worth watching for a feature on why funding for active travel in rural areas is just as important as in urban areas but there are levelling up issues. Plus what does the new Highway Code say about the shared responsibilities of all road users
Our resarch project has identified a preferred route as well as many improvements to pedestrian amenity.
We are presently negotiating with landowners whose land the route goes over and we have engagement with several and still working with others.
We have had discussions with the councils at Langport and Huish Episcopi with the result that they have agreed to share the cost of some additional research in order to find a suitable route between West over and other key destinations within the area, for example, the school Leisure Centre and supermarket.
We are having discussions with Somerset County Council regarding funds to make some improvements within Curry Rivel itself whilst the landowner negotiations continue.
More updates will be provided as and when we have some more news.
At a special meeting on 18th January, the Parish Council unanimously agreed to the recommendations for the design and route of the Active Travel path and gave the go ahead for the working group to explore the next steps.
The final route along with the recommended design requirements is now available.. Scroll down to view and downlaod.
Whilst the drawings show the preferred route, there is still much to be done, for example, negotiation with landowners and Somerset County Council before we can be sure that a path is viable and can go ahead.
The Somerset County Council Transport Manager has taken a particular interest in this project because of its rural based nature and that eventually it could link to other villages.
With the appointment of Chris Boardman as Head of Active Travel UK which oversees the distribution of funds to projects that meet stringent standards, now is a good time to press ahead with our plans.
Watch this space for further updates and please write in with messages of support as we will no doubt need to show evidence of need when the time comes to seek funding
The consultant's initial report is now available for public consultation. There are numerous route options as well as safety improvements in and around the village.
We are also seeking evidence that the community support the project and that there is a definite need for a new route. Please take our survey using this link.
The existing busy stretch of the A378 between Curry Rivel and Langport is unsuitable for cyclists and pedestrians due to being very narrow in places and the volume and speed of traffic. Residents of Curry Rivel and surrounding villages rely on amenities in Langport and Huish Episcopi such as local shops and businesses, doctors, the library, the secondary school and Huish Leisure Centre, but the vast majority use their cars to travel there and back.
The need for an improved transport link is clear and the proposed project would bring a wide range of benefits to cyclists, pedestrians and the wider community, for example:
an accessible, safe and traffic free path for cyclists and pedestrians
Increased opportunities for exercise, contributing to a healthy lifestyle
reduction in volume of traffic and dangerous emissions on this stretch of the A378
Increased trade for local shops and businesses
a link to a possible future rail station at Langport
a solution to the need for a safe route for students to get to the school, academy and leisure centre
The project is now being taken forward by a small group of volunteers who are investigating feasibility, possible routes for the path, and funding opportunities. As the grant has been awarded to the project on a matched funding basis, the group are now seeking financial and other support from a wide range of sources including councils, businesses and voluntary organisations, as well as the public.
During 2021 we managed to raise over £8000 and as a result received £5000 from the Somerset County Council Climate Emergency Fund. This money is now being used to cover the fees involved for the research and to produce a design and route that will attract government funding to build it.For further information, to get involved please contact:
Tony Greenaway by e mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 07563 900646