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Major Walking and Cycling Schemes

Bay to Bay Multi-Use Trail

The Council is leading on a project in West Cornwall to connect communities, attract visitors and build economic and cultural opportunities in West Cornwall.

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We have listened to residents who contributed to the Penzance Neighbourhood Plan who told us that the need to reconnect with the sea is central to the future economic success of the area. From this has come the concept of the Mount’s Bay Maritime Park and the Bay to Bay high quality multi use walking and cycling trail.

The Bay to Bay multi-use trail will build on the proven success of the hugely popular Camel Trail, and the convenience of public bike hire schemes, to create a new 30km trail with bike hire hubs at a number of key locations.  The trail will connect Penzance, Marazion, Hayle and St Ives and other smaller villages and towns along the route. It will:

  • Connect towns and villages
  • Contribute to delivering Cornwall’s physical activity strategy
  • Deliver publicly accessible bike hire scheme with docking stations along the route supporting the 38% of residents who do not have a car
  • Support local Neighbourhood Plans ambitions
  • Support local business by attracting more visitors to the town

Cornwall Council has been working on scheme options and designs for phase 1 of the Bay to Bay scheme which will deliver a route around Mount’s Bay between Marazion and Mousehole.

Following significant design work and stakeholder engagement, the Council is now planning improvements to two major sections of the route - Penzance promenade and Longrock coast path - to make them attractive and accessible to residents and visitors.

The promenade has suffered considerable storm damage over recent years and its current state belies its former glory as Cornwall’s only Victorian promenade. The Council has committed funding to deliver a major surface improvement to the promenade in time for the Cornwall stage of the Tour of Britain in Sept 2020.

A designated cycle route adjacent to the promenade will be developed in the future, but right now the Council is keen to deliver much needed improvements to the condition and resilience of the promenade for all to enjoy. This scheme represents the first phase of investment in the promenade ahead of a longer term regeneration and coastal protection scheme proposed by the Environment Agency.

The Council has undertaken a programme of community engagement through May, June and July 2019 to help develop the design of the surfacing scheme. For more information see ‘Consultation’ section below.

Now the scheme has received planning consent, works are due to start this month. Cormac will be on site from October and will start clearance of the existing pavers before starting to lay the new concrete surface.

Works will be phased, allowing access throughout the build as the new surface is laid in three sections between November and June 2020.  Then the textural finishing works and promenade ‘furniture’ will be installed.

The majority of the work is due to be completed in time for the Golowan Festival in June 2020 and ahead of the Tour of Britain event in September 2020 when the eyes of the sporting world will be on Penzance as the field of world class cyclists assemble on the promenade for the start of the race.

The coastal defences along Longrock are being upgraded by the Council over the summer 2019 to protect against future storms. The Council is also planning to deliver surface improvements to the coast path which will help ensure the path is accessible all year round for walkers and cyclists. Whilst some funding has been put in place, the Council is hoping to secure European Interreg funding through the France Channel England (FCE) programme to cover the shortfall. A funding bid for the EXPERIENCE project led by Norfolk County Council was submitted in June 2019 and the announcement on whether we have been successful is expected in July 2019.

Should funding be secured the Longrock path works will begin in 2020.

We are also developing route options for other sections of the phase 1 Mount’s Bay trail:

  • Marazion link
  • Penzance station to the harbour
  • Wherrytown to Mousehole

Cornwall Council has been working with the Penzance Place shaping group to ensure the Mount’s Bay trail route captures the vision of the Neighbourhood Plan and the ambition of the local community.  We have been part of a number of local events including Penzance EXPO 2017 and 2018 and stakeholder workshops.

To ensure the regeneration of the promenade surface is in keeping with local culture, heritage and environment, the Council commissioned Meiloci Landscape Architects to run co-design workshops in schools to capture local aspirations and the history of the promenade in the final design. Along with groups, including local Cornwall Council members, Penzance Town Council, Penzance BID, local environment and heritage groups, their ideas have fed into plans for this major Cornwall Council funded resurfacing scheme to revitalise Penzance promenade.

The final concept design was presented at a public exhibition in July and was attended by approximately 400 people, the vast majority of whom were pleased to see a much needed investment and supported the design.

A few comments from the event:

Creative, sensitive appreciation of environment and space

Giant pebble seating is amazing and is made in Cornwall - even better!

Pleased it will be accessible for prams/pushchairs and the disabled

Good that children involved as they are the generation to inherit it 

Simplicity of surface with inset features. Tastefully done

Love the textures and references to former uses, and really love the stone seats. Very exciting!

Ideas put forward at the public exhibition events for future uses of the promenade including more events, music and space for food and drink businesses have been passed to the Town Council and the Business Improvement District.

  • Connects population centres comprising over 40,000 residents
  • Contributes to Cornwall’s physical activity strategy
  • Publicly accessible bike hire scheme with docking stations along the route supporting the 38% of residents who do not have a car
  • Supports local Neighbourhood Plans ambitions
  • Supports local business by attracting more visitors to the town
  • Penzance tourism economy worth £44m
  • Cycle tourism generates £650m per year for the UK economy and €44 billion per year in the EU
  • The coast path in Cornwall was worth £175 million to the local economy in 2011
  • 15k UK jobs in cycle tourism
  • 10% of visitors to Cornwall in 2016 had cycled during their stay
  • Average cycle tourist daily spend 9% higher than average tourism spend
  • Brittany Ferries passengers with bikes increased by 31% to 62,000 between 2013 to 2017
  • Autumn 2019 - Surface improvement works to the promenade start
  • June 2020 - Surface improvements to the promenade complete
  • Summer 2020 - surface finishes and installation of seating and promenade furniture
  • September 2020 - grand depart of the Cornwall stage of the Tour of Britain on the promenade

These web pages will be regularly updated throughout the construction period.

For more information on the Tour of Britain, follow the Tour of Britain link.