Clevedon gets its own 'yellow brick road' in latest development to controversial scheme

A new 'yellow brick road' has appeared in Clevedon Credit: BPM Media

A new pathway has appeared on the seafront in a North Somerset town that has been at the centre of a controversial road upgrade.

Dubbed the 'yellow brick road' from the Wizard of Oz's fictional Emerald City, the new lane has emerged after council contractors installed the new ‘buff’ surfacing along the seafront last night (22 March).

Local people have said the surfacing - in bright contrast to the newly laid road - has ‘devastated’ the Victorian seafront forever and can be seen for miles around.

A spokesperson for the Save our Seafront campaign group said: “It’s heartbreaking to see. They have ruined our lovely Victorian seafront.”

It follows a controversial scheme that saw yellow wiggly lines drawn along The Beach earlier this year, confusing motorists and local people.

They then mysteriously disappeared before North Somerset Council, who is in charge of the work, insisted they would return.

The lines, which are not featured in the Highway Code, caused an uproar that led to the local MP holding a debate in Parliament about them. This saw the Government condemn the scheme as having been installed without permission.

The spokesperson for the campaign group added: “First the wiggly lines and crop circle and now the yellow brick road.

"Our once magnificent seafront has been ruined."

RAC: The 'most bizarre new road scheme' it has ever seen

The new surfacing is the latest blow for local people who have been calling for the controversial scheme to be reversed.

The project began last autumn and has so far cost £700,000. It has made the road along The Beach one way, introduced a new segregated cycle lane, and reconfigured parking to run parallel to the beach.

New loading bays have also been installed and a ‘roundabout’ installed at the junction of The Beach, Marine Parade, and Alexandra Gardens.

Changes to the design saw it dubbed Clevedon's "yellow brick road". Credit: BPM Media

A detailed report carried out by an independent highways consultant has been commissioned by the campaign group Save our Seafront and sent to the Department of Transport highlighting a number of safety flaws.

A petition calling for the changes to be reversed has now reached in excess of 6,000 signatures.Leading safety organisation, the RAC, has also branded the road layout as one of the "most bizarre new road schemes it has ever seen."

North Somerset Council: 'These works have made the area safer for all'

In a statement, the spokesperson for North Somerset Council said: "The new surface road treatment in Clevedon now in place is one of the final parts of the scheme and is designed to make the area safer by helping slow traffic down.

"We expect many more visitors to come to Clevedon after the Pier to Pier Way opens later this year, which will bring more walkers and cyclists to the area.

"These works have made the area safer for all and also supports our commitment to provide sustainable travel routes across the area.

"The scheme has provided seven new crossing points, improved pedestrian, and cycle user safety and will bring additional parking to the area.

"The new buff coloured surface marks new pedestrian crossings, the space between car parking and the cycle lane as well as on the roundabout.

"The material was chosen in consultation with conservation officers and is frequently used in historic environments around the UK, for example Oxford, Bath and London.”