Wells — Shepton Mallet
A longer term aim is to open up the 5-mile stretch of former railway line as a traffic free path between Wells and Shepton Mallet. This could eventually become part of the Sustrans National Cycle Network, and has been identified for protection as a "Safeguarded Corridor for Sustainable Travel" in the Mendip Local Plan. A proposed connecting path from Shepton Mallet to the Colliers Way at Radstock would see a traffic-free route to Bath and Bristol become a reality.
The first section of the path from Wells is already open to the public starting at the Sherston Inn (A39/A371 roundabout) following the former railway cutting to Dulcote village. It was recently extensively cleared by a dedicated volunteers of the Strawberry Line East group, and won £12,000 in a public vote from Tesco's Bags of Help scheme. By March 2017, this will have been spent on extensively landscaping the area surrounding the path at the Dulcote end. Over three hundred trees and shrubs have been planted to create a beautiful wildlife oasis.
Extension to Dulcote Quarry and beyondProposals have been made to extend the Strawberry Line path along the wide verge of the North Wootton Road to the Dulcote Quarry entrance and beyond. This could be achieved by first ramping up to the existing bridleway (which would be resurfaced), and then following it all the way to the quarry entrance, where the bridleway and the old trackbed converge. The path could then follow the old trackbed all the way to Viridor's recycling centre, thus improving access to a major employment site and a busy local amenity.
In late 2016, Charlie Bigham (successful producer of luxury ready-meals) gained planning permission to turn the Dulcote quarry site into a food production facility. As part of the application's s106 agreement, Charlie Bigham gave Somerset County Council £15,000 towards improving the existing cycle path. When Bigham's submit a planning application to expand the site, it is hoped that the Strawberry Line East group can work with Bigham's and the County to design and construct a new section of Strawberry Line connecting the underpass at Dulcote (where the Strawberry Line currently ends) to the quarry entrance, thus making it possible for employees to comfortably walk and cycle to and from Wells.
There are also plans to connect Dulcote to Croscombe via Dinder.
West Shepton Mallet
At the Shepton Mallet end two recently completed housing developments include provision for a path along the old railway line from Hitchin Lane to Station Road. A ramp was constructed to lead back up to the trackbed, where campaigners are looking at the possibility of following the trackbed all the way to Pilton Road, where a new bridge would lead to various local amenities like the football ground, the skate park and the Cubs hut.