TWO new cycle paths are planned in South Gloucestershire to fill in missing links in the district’s walking and cycling network.

The routes will run from Thornbury to Alveston and from Yate to Westerleigh, with both links providing safe, off-road and segregated walking and cycling paths.

Construction is expected to start on the Alveston Hill Greenway in spring next year.

Currently pedestrians and cyclists have to traverse the dangerous and windy road down Alveston Hill, with a narrow pavement and frequent fast cars.

The route will run through fields next to the road.

Construction for the link between Yate and Westerleigh is due to start by the end of this year, and will mean cyclists can travel from Yate to Bristol entirely on off-road routes.

South Gloucestershire Council is planning to force landowners to sell the necessary land, if needs be.

The cabinet approved compulsory purchase orders, to be used if land negotiations are unsuccessful, during a public meeting on March 11.

Council bosses said these would be used “as a last resort”, although it’s understood ongoing negotiations have already delayed both schemes.

Liberal Democrat Councillor Chris Willmore, cabinet member for planning, regeneration, and infrastructure, said: “I have horrors when I see pedestrians — never mind cyclists, people in wheelchairs or with baby buggies — getting down Alveston Hill on that narrow pavement where the road twists and turns and a lot of the cars go really fast.

“For me, the most important thing above all else, is getting something that gives people the ability to get from Alveston to Thornbury safely, which they don’t have at the minute.

"We want to get our full business case this August, so that we can get something started on the ground next spring.

“It’s so important for the safety of residents of all ages, but particularly schoolchildren and some of the elderly residents of Alveston, who are currently taking their life in their hands walking down Alveston Hill.”

Gazette Series: How Alveston Hill currently looks - which has been described as dangerous How Alveston Hill currently looks - which has been described as dangerous (Image: Google Maps)

Plans for both routes stretch back at least two decades, but appear to finally be getting over the line.

The council plans to submit a full business case for the Yate route by June, and one for the Alveston route by August.

These are needed to get the necessary funding to build the routes.

Speaking about the Yate to Westerleigh route, Cllr Willmore said: “At the moment we’ve got a bit of a cycleway and then a gap and then a bit of a cycleway and a gap.

"This will make a really important link that some of us have been fighting for, for a very long time.”