Anger over North Somerset Council plans to change roads around Clevedon seafront

  • Watch Caron Bell's report here

A £500,000 scheme to change Clevedon's seafront has come under fire from locals.

The project would see the introduction of a new 20mph speed limit and a one-way system stretching around Elton Road, Hill Road.

North Somerset Council says the scheme - which includes new cycle paths, re-routing of bus routes and changing parking spaces - aims to eliminate "rat running" around the beach.

The scheme would see an increase in parking spots available in the town - but they would be away from the seafront.

The first phase started on 25 April, with work happening in and around Hill Road. The council says the works will improve access for pedestrians and cyclists but residents and traders fear it will damage the town.

This is what the seafront will look like under the new proposed plans

Landlord of the Moon and Sixpence pub Tony Antoni said: "We're going to lose a lot of money. We pay a lot of rates and I'm looking at it thinking are the council going to reimburse me some of it?"

North Somerset Council says the plans are part of its commitment to promoting healthier lifestyles and tackling the climate emergency. It says that less traffic will make the streets and seafront more attractive and the cycle lane will form part of the "Pier to Pier' access to Weston-super-Mare.

A petition to stop the changes has received more than 4,700 signatures, with local opposition voicing concerns about the reduction of parking for the elderly and disabled.

One man said: "There's a lot of people who are disabled, who have less access and they can come and there's plenty of parking for them here to come and park and if you're taking that away from them they can't enjoy their fish and chips on the seafront then to me that seems very unfair."

Traders and residents say the plans will make every day life in Clevedon very difficult

North Somerset MP Liam Fox opposes the plans, saying it will be "damaging" for the hospitality industry.

He added: "I think it will be inconvenient and possibly dangerous."

The work on the main stretch along the beach will start in the autumn, out of the main holiday season.

The scheme is part of the £175m grant from the Department for Transport (DfT), which will see new safe routes for people to walk and cycle safely built this year.