Overwhelming support for Bridport to Maiden Newton traffic-free path

People in Bridport and Maiden Newton are overwhelmingly in favour of Sustrans’ proposed traffic-free path between their two towns.

Over 250 people attended the recent consultation meetings – one in each town. Of 180 survey forms returned, 179 were in favour of the proposal.

The ten-mile route would follow the disused railway between Bridport and Maiden Newton. Sustrans, the UK’s leading sustainable transport charity, plans to resurface the line to enable year-round access by cyclists, walkers and wheelchair users.

Sustrans land negotiator Peter Henshaw said: “We are delighted to have such overwhelming public support for this proposal. People were saying how this path would be a real asset to the area and that they only wish we could start tomorrow.

“This enthusiasm clearly shows how popular the path would be and that it would give a huge health and fitness boost for people living in both towns.”

Walkers and cyclists were almost equal in their enthusiasm – 79 per cent of respondents said they would walk the path at some point, 78 per cent would cycle. Over 60 per cent would do both.

The path would have regular use, with 31 per cent saying they would walk it at least once a week, and 32 per cent cycling at least once a week.

Nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) would use the path for leisure or recreation, and half to improve personal fitness. A further 14 per cent said they would use the path for shopping trips. The route also feeds in to schools in both Bridport and Maiden Newton, offering the prospect of a traffic-free school run.

The drop-in meetings were held last month at Bridport Town Hall and Maiden Newton Village Hall.

Sustrans expects the project will take three to four years to complete. But the charity hopes to start work on a two-mile central section between Toller Porcorum and Powerstock Common later this year, following an ecological audit.

Source: Sustrans