The Kingston Area Pedestrian and Cycle Campaign (KAPACC) is a voluntary group run by local residents. Formed in January 2017, our aim is safer, better and more walking and cycling in the Kingston St Mary (KSM) area.
The former Community Plan Steering Group (now: Kingston Community Partnership), with the support of KSM Parish Council consulted with the residents of the parish and produced a new Community-led Plan. A part of the survey explored the importance of safe off-road pedestrian and cycle routes outside of the village centre - joining KSM village and the wider parish to North Taunton, and also routes to connect up the various parts of the parish.
Main results of survey
The results from the 2016 survey show that cycling and walking from the village towards Taunton along the Kingston Road is a major negative for residents. People recognise that cycling and walking have health benefits and that encouraging walking and cycling would reduce dependence on car usage and lower traffic volumes through the village. Respondents would highly value the addition of a safe off-road route into Taunton for pedestrians and cyclists.
Residents are aware that the North Taunton Development and the Hinckley-C project will lead to increased traffic volumes along Kingston Road and the resultant implications for safety to walkers and cyclists on the route into Taunton. Walking along the main road is currently an unpleasant experience and is likely to worsen over time.
Actions and Ideas
We work together with the Taunton Area Cycling Campaign and have meetings with Taunton Deane Borough Council and the developers. We want them to prioritise the installation of good quality cycle/pedestrian routes within the development area of the North Taunton (Staplegrove) urban extension.
Better and safe cycling routes
We're exploring further opportunities to extend the above mentioned link to quiet lanes around the established parish settlements, by utilising existing bridleways and 'green lanes' where roads do not currently connect. We're talking to the landowners of the track between Nailsbourne and Edgborough Lane in the hope they will agree to improvements.
KAPACC would like to create a recognised and clearly sign-posted cycle network within the parish utilising existing quiet lanes. This will help establish Kingston as a sustainable village, where car users will get used to seeing cyclists, and most importantly children, frequently out on their bikes. It is hoped that this would slow traffic speeds and increase courtesy shown to walkers, riders and cyclists. To realise this we organise cycle events.
We also work in close cooperation with the Traffic & Speed Watch Group of the Kingston Community Partnership to achieve safer walking and cycling within the parish.
By establishing a cycle network KSM parish would be pro-active in extending the influence of the Quantock AONB for its potential to offer quality outdoor leisure opportunities to its own residents and to visitors from outside the parish, and help promote KSM's status as 'gateway to the Quantocks'.
More attention for footpaths and bridleways
Extending the number of footpaths and bridleways is likely to be difficult. There is already an extensive and well used network joining the various hamlets. One area that is lacking in joined up footpaths is the higher reaches of Church Lane-Lodes Lane-Buncombe Hill. Landowners would need to be consulted and a feasibility study carried out, if this is to be taken further.