Roof for popular bike path

By Jeff Jones | Tuesday, March 31, 2009 11.01pm

The Bath-Bristol bike path will be completely covered, according to leaked plans from UK sustainable transport charity Sustrans.

The ambitious project, which will surely be a hit with cycle commuters, was announced on Wednesday. It will involve covering around 13 miles of the track with hard weatherproof plastic which will be held up by metal poles.

It will cost in the region of £20 million, which represents most of the cash given to Bristol in recognition of its 'cycling city' status.

Commuters have greeted the news with optimism. Matt Woodman, from Warmley, told BikeRadar: "On average it rains three days out of every four in this part of the country. My commute can be quite brutal at times, but this will actually make it enjoyable."

The path was converted from an old railway track by Sustrans between 1979 and 1986. But despite its incredible usefulness and environmental friendliness, it has had to withstand various development proposals over the years. 

Using part of it for a bus lane and building 'cycle houses' that back onto it but use some of its land are some of the latest insane schemes.

Even as the plans to roof the path were announced, BikeRadar learned that Bristol City Council is pushing to build an entire suburb on top of the path, complete with rail and bus infrastructure and a drive-through Tesco store. But pro-path campaigners say they will not be fooled.

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