A major new cycle route has opened near the Four Point Mapping offices in Somerset. The Two Tunnels Greenway is a shared-use cyclepath which now links the Linear Way in Bath to the village of Midford, and even on to Radstock and Frome using the Colliers Way. It uses the track-bed of the former Somerset and Dorset Railway and saves a massive climb by using two tunnels. The longer ‘Combe Down’ tunnel is now the longest cycle tunnel in the country at just over one mile long.
The funding has come largely from the Sustrans Connect2 project, which is made up of about 75 major projects to bridge gaps in the National Cycle Network. Four Point Mapping are producing a map of each one as they are finished. See the Two Tunnels map here.
Travelling through the tunnels is quite an experience for cyclists, walkers and joggers alike. There is low-level LED lighting so bike lights aren’t needed – in fact they just dazzle on-coming cyclists so please refrain from using them! There is also piped music at certain points which adds to the atmosphere and distance markers on the well-surfaced ground informing you of how far you’ve travelled and how far you have to go – it can get quite disorientating in the longer of the two! Part of the longer tunnel is very straight and the sight of all the LEDs down either side disappearing off into the distance is quite astonishing. Hopefully the Greenway’s huge popularity will continue long into the future and get more people out-and-about on bikes or on foot in a safe, traffic-free environment.