Festival Way cycle path from Bristol to Nailsea opens

Festival Way, between Nailsea and Bristol
Image caption The new cycle and walking path will connect Nailsea in North Somerset to Bristol city centre

A cycle path between Nailsea and Bristol has been officially opened by Bristol mayor, George Ferguson.

Festival Way runs via Flax Bourton and includes a new traffic-free section between Ashton Court and Long Ashton.

The route was created by cycling charity Sustrans using a £27m Big Lottery Fund award made in 2007.

"Routes like Festival Way that connect communities transform people's ability to make leisure and health trips," Project manager, Jon Usher said.

"It's called Festival Way because it runs through the major events site at Ashton Court and really we would like people to embrace walking and cycling to things like the Kite Festival, the Balloon Fiesta, BrisFest.

"It's an absolutely fantastic route and means you don't have to get stuck in all that traffic for all those major events."

Riders set off from Queens Square in Bristol earlier and celebrations were held at the May Day celebrations at Millennium Park in Nailsea, where the route, of about nine miles, ends.

A portrait bench was also unveiled earlier along the route by the chairman of North Somerset Council, Councillor Terry Porter.

Mr Ferguson said: "A high-quality cycling link from Nailsea to Bristol will make a big difference to quality of life for all those who access it.

"All involved in this project have done a great job, choosing a clever route that forges strong links between the city and North Somerset."

North Somerset Council also supported the project.

The council is aiming to create a cycle and walking path between Weston-super-Mare and Clevedon via the old railway lines.

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