About Frome’s Missing Links

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Frome’s Missing Links started in 2010 to campaign for better and safer walking and cycling routes in Frome and better connections to neighbouring towns and villages. The goal was to develop traffic-free routes with gentle gradients suitable for all ages and abilities.

It soon became clear that what people wanted first was to see the Colliers Way cycle path to Radstock completed with a traffic-free route into the centre of town. This cycle path, Sustrans’ route 24, currently ends at Great Elm, just 2.5 miles outside Frome. The road route from Great Elm follows narrow roads and includes three steep hills, before leading you through the streets of Frome to the town centre.

To the south of Frome, Sustrans’ Route 24 continues towards Longleat, taking a route that involves some busy roads and another steep hill.

Frome’s Missing Links would like to see more family-friendly routes in both directions, and is doing this by campaigning, commenting on planning applications, and raising funds to build these routes.


Progress so far

Frome’s Missing Links started by extending the path from the centre of Frome out towards Great Elm. Volunteers spent many days clearing scrub, erecting fences and preparing the ground. Grants from Mendip District Council, Frome Town Council and Aster Housing helped to back up financial support from Sustrans and the section from Welshmill to Low Water, Phase 1, was completed in January 2015. We celebrated the opening with a procession of bicycles and scooters, illuminated by hundreds of lights and reflectors.


What’s next?

Phase 2 (Great Elm to Hapsford) is at a bit of an impasse, and Sustrans is negotiating with Network Rail and with land owners.

Meanwhile we have landowner agreement for Phase 3 (Weylands to Jack’s Lane) and plans are in place for a footpath diversion and planning permission application. This phase will extend the path from where it currently ends by the river up past Cooper Hall. We hope that construction work on this stretch can start soon.

Also in parallel with this we are planning further feasibility studies to look at options for the whole of the missing link between the current end of the path at Great Elm and what will be the end of Phase 3.


How we are organised

In June 2016, Frome’s Missing Links was set up as an independent charitable organisation, having been part of Sustainable Frome and working with Sustrans. As a result, we can now take donations, apply for funding and claim gift aid.

We have kept the structure and requirements of the charity as simple as possible consistent with legal requirements. We want to spend our energy building the links, not a bureaucracy.

We have found people and local business are more likely to donate to local good causes, and our experience in taking on far more fundraising and seeking donations of materials and services such as tool hire has been positive so far.

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