The campaign to build the path is a complex one, as it requires negotiations on land and rights of way, engineering challenges, environmental considerations and lots of fundraising. To cover some of the issues, we have prepared an FAQ. If there are more questions you’d like answered, please send them to us.
When did Frome’s Missing Links start?
In 2010, FML began campaigning for better and safer walking and cycling routes within Frome and connections to neighbouring towns and villages. The organisation was set up as a charity in June 2016.
Why is it taking so long?
The principal physical barriers to constructing cycleways are roads, railways, and rivers. Each has an established bureaucracy which moves at a glacial speed and has stringent requirements to ensure that their interests are not affected. We often need to use private land, and have to negotiate with landowners to build on their property.
Are local landowners supporting the route?
Some have been extremely helpful, but others have been reluctant to discuss the options with us. It only takes one to block a potential route.
What support does FML have from government bodies?
Frome Town Council has always been very supportive of the project, which would bring environmental benefits, as well as improving community health and wellbeing and making a huge difference to the options for sustainable transport locally. Many councillors at Mendip District Council have also been supportive. Somerset County Council, which is responsible for maintaining footpaths and bridleways, has been less helpful, but is now working towards creating plans for walking and cycling infrastructure that may benefit Frome’s Missing Links.
A lot of money has been raised. Isn’t it enough to build the path, now that the old railway sleepers have been cleared?
A tarmac multi-user path is surprisingly costly. A simple path across a flat field costs little more than £100 a metre, but embankments, fencing, bridges are all extra. Then there’s the cost of the land, with legal costs, design, survey, and planning fees etc.
How long before the Colliers Way route can be connected with the centre of Frome?
It is impossible to say. Much will depend on the support of government bodies, as we need to cross a number of roads to make the connection complete. We have done a number of viability studies in recent years, to give us a clearer picture of the costs and benefits of different routes and different ways of crossing the roads in question. This also gives us something to present to government bodies, and house to back up applications for funding.