Phase 2 – map and details
Phase 2 is at the western end of the northern link and about 1.25 km. long from Great Elm to Eliotts Lane near Hapsford.
About half including Buckland Bridge and most of the embankment is already owned by Sustrans. There has been some difficulty obtaining the rest of the land and this necessitated a licence from Network Rail which took two years, and their stringent health and safety requirements may add very significantly to the construction cost.
Volunteers have cleared the Sustrans land of head high brambles, removed the redundant rail track and levelled the ballast as well as building steps up the embankment and a picnic table out of recycled materials.
The original cost was estimated at £200,000, although railway fencing may increase this. Sustrans based on the previous fundraising success suggested Frome as a community should raise £20,000 as an indication of their support for the project. This target has been exceeded but unfortunately the government’s austerity agenda has led to a dearth of grant funding so Sustrans has been unable to provide the remainder.
Other sources of funding are being investigated as are cheaper construction methods in order to get the route established without excessive delay.