Upgrade for Coast Path at Mount's Bay
A section of the South West Coast Path at Mount’s Bay near Penzance in Cornwall is closed, with diversions in place, as work gets underway to improve its resilience and accessibility for walkers and cyclists.
Set against the backdrop of St Michael’s Mount and Penzance Railway Station, the multi-use path is popular with residents and visitors, but prone to the elements with storm damage creating uneven surfaces and, at times, forcing the closure of some sections.
The upgrade will provide walkers and cyclists with a new resurfaced path and a new link to take the route away from Longrock car park. There will also be new benches along the path and improved access to the beach for people with mobility issues, as well as plans to develop an arts trail along the route which embraces the assets of the area, creating a unique experience for residents and visitors year-round.
Councillor Tim Dwelly, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for culture, economy and planning, said: “Mount’s Bay is one of the jewels in our crown, but the sea has not been kind to the Coast Path over the years. This investment will not only protect the path for many years to come, but also contribute to the regeneration of the Marazion and Penzance area by encouraging people to visit all year round. It is also a significant step in the realisation of the Bay-to-Bay multi-use trail proposal and support our efforts to get people walking and cycling more – improving their health and helping to cut Cornwall’s carbon emissions.”
Construction started in the first week of November, with the improvements set to be carried out in sections. Phase One works will run from the wooden pedestrian bridge at Eastern Green towards Penzance Railway Station. This will be followed by Phase Two which focuses on the section from Longrock car park to the public toilets on the way to Marazion. Weather permitting, these sections should be complete before Christmas. Whilst works are underway, in order to create a safe working environment, these sections will need to be closed to pedestrians whilst work is being carried out.
In the New Year Phase Three begins, again at the wooden pedestrian bridge, going in the opposite direction towards Longrock car park. At the same time Phase Four starts, which is the section from the public toilets to Marazion car park.
Cornwall Councillor for Marazion and Perranuthnoe Sue Nicholas said: “It is good to see that after much hard work and negotiations the Coastal Path improvements are coming to fruition. We are moving towards the exciting vision of a path that joins destinations around the bay from Marazion to Mousehole.”
Cornwall Councillor for Gulval and Heamoor Mario Fonk said: “This project will be a huge benefit to locals and visitors alike. It will attract a lot of visitors to Penzance and will be very beneficial to the local economy. There will inevitably be some disruption, but this will hopefully be kept to a minimum and be short lived.”
Cornwall Councillor for Ludgvan Simon Elliott said: “These improvements will make the coastal path more accessible to disabled users, cyclists and walkers alike. When I used some of my Councillor community chest to put picnic benches by the rock armour, people told me how valued the path was but how limiting its condition was for some. Soon the whole community, as well as tourists, will benefit from this investment.”
Some disruption is inevitable during the project and so we ask everyone to be patient whilst this important work is carried out. Cornwall Council are making every effort to maintain access where possible and signpost users to alternative routes. The improvements should be complete by the end of June 2021.
The scheme is part of the EXPERIENCE project – a project involving six areas of the Channel region (Cornwall, Brittany, Pas-de-Calais, Compiègne, Norfolk and Kent) to promote off-season experiential tourism and sustainable economic growth. Cornwall’s funding will support activities which focus on out-of-season visitor experiences (October to March) and sustainable cultural tourism, connecting visitors with the distinct historical, geographical and cultural assets of the local Penzance and Marazion area.
Due to run until June 2023, the project is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Interreg France (Channel) England Programme under the Natural and Cultural Heritage funding category. Of the €16.1m ERDF committed to the total project, €1.9m is allocated to Cornwall Council, which is investing a further €0.9m. Cornwall’s investment is focused in the Penzance pilot area and investment will help improve the Mount’s Bay coastal path and encourage a sustainable year-round visitor economy.
For more information about the coast path works visit www.cormacltd.co.uk/major-projects
Published on: Nov. 9, 2020