Thanks very much to Keith Hunt from Old Cleeve, and to BR Stephens in Blue Anchor who have both written some thought provoking letters to the West Somerset Free Press of late in response to our front-page article on January 29th. Keith Hunt, one of many supporters of the Steam Coast Trail, quite rightly comments (Free Press, 13th Feb, above) on the danger of cycling on Eastbury Hill (the B3191 between Blue Anchor and Carhampton) and the A39. He also very kindly comments on the members of the Steam Coast Trail charity, and local supporters of the SCT (pictured in the original article) who should have been at work. Indeed they should! Many volunteers, including those pictured, have invested considerable time, money and resources to secure funding for this project. Their motivation purely in a kind response to the sentiments of many locals, local schools, local sports groups, and local businesses who all understand how the trail will benefit our community by improved cycle safety, sustainable transport, health benefits, and economic benefits from attracted tourism.
BR Stephens also addresses some very important issues (Free Press, 6th Feb, below). In response to the headline, it should be made clear that the recently acquired funding from the Big Lottery 'Coastal Communities' fund would not have even come to West Somerset if a not-for-profit group like the Steam Coast Trail charity had not made a considerable effort to apply for it. Secondly, BR Stephens' observation about the cost of the path would seem very astute. However, in choosing to build the 'Bridge Path' between Blue Anchor and Dunster Beach, the SCT are actually tackling the hardest and single, most expensive part of the extended network first. The lesser investments required to realise challenging sections of the extended network would not be value for money should this all-important, Bridge Path not be achievable.
Thanks again to the generous support of many companies and organisations, including Singer Instruments, West Somerset Railway, Maitland Walker LLP, The Culborne Inn, West Somerset Council and Minehead Development Trust.