Bath's Two Tunnels Greenway, opening Saturday April 6th 2013, will be be the longest cycling tunnel in Europe at over a mile long.
The shared cycle and walking path will feature an interactive light and sound installation and will run through Linear Park, on through the disused Devonshire (at Bloomfield) and Combe Down railway tunnels, and over the Tucking Mill Viaduct.
The virtually flat route will cut under some of south Bath’s most daunting hills, according to Sustrans, and link into the National Cycle Network, to Radstock and as far as Bournemouth in the south and the Bath-Bristol cycle path in the west, as well as creating a scenic 13-mile loop between Bath and Midford, then back again via the canal towpath.
An anticipated one million journeys every year will be made through the path, including locals and visitors.
“The iconic Two Tunnels Greenway is a flagship route on our National Cycle Network and will transform local community travel," said Sustrans chief exec Malcolm Shepherd. "We are delighted that it will also give children and families safe access to schools, parks and green spaces.”
Frank Tompson, Chair of the community-based Two Tunnels Group, added: “It’s been a long journey since some of us stood between the bricked-up Devonshire and Combe Down tunnels and said, ‘wouldn’t it be a good idea if…’ Six years on, and the end is in sight. We’re delighted that we have an opening date, and look forward to celebrating with our local community and visitors on the 6th April next year.”
Councillor Roger Symonds, Bath & North East Somerset council cabinet member for transport, commented: “The Council is pleased that the opening date is set for what promises to be an historic day for cycling and walking. Different communities will be connected together via sustainable methods of transport and people will have much better opportunities to get on their bike or walk for leisure or to work. This is one of the most exciting and innovative projects in the country."
Opening celebrations are planned for April 6th 2013.