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Bay to Bay Multipurpose Trail

Marazion to Penzance

Regenerating a multi-use pathway that winds its ways along the shoreline from St Michael’s Mount to Penzance railway station, always busy with cyclists, dog walkers, hikers and families out for a stroll.

A Pathway for All

Connecting West Penwith

The aim of the Bay to Bay Multi Use Trail project is to provide local community and tourists with more frequent and positive experiences in the natural environment, supporting health and wellbeing. It’s all part of Cornwall Council’s drive to develop sustainable links and access to local businesses in West Cornwall. 

Connecting over forty thousand residents between Penzance and Marazion on the South coast and St Ives and Hayle on the North coast, the project requires careful planning and integration with the local community, traffic and coastal and environmental considerations. 

Cormac’s Long Rock sea defence project in 2017 meant that the infrastructure was in place, ready for the coastal pathway to be resurfaced and regenerated.

Phase One of the project – the stretch of concrete coastal pathway connecting Penzance to Marazion – was completed by Cormac in 2022.

Taking the Eco Path – Environmentally Sound Construction

Environmentally sound construction

Behind every coastal pathway is a deeper story. Sea defences must be strengthened, landscaping and environment must be considered, along with the logistics of concreting nearly three miles of public footpath with minimal disruption to the local community.

Reducing carbon emissions by creating a foot and cycle path is one thing. Our challenge was to make the concrete pathway itself as low-impact as possible.

Thanks to our recently completed rebuild of the storm-wrecked promenade in Penzance, the aggregate from the smashed concrete paving slabs could be recycled into a sub-base material for the Bay to Bay path – reducing the costs and delivery emissions of importing the material from elsewhere.

The concrete itself was brought in from Cormac’s Castle quarry, just a mile or so up the road, and we opted to use low-carbon recycled fibres in the concrete, instead of traditional stainless steel/mild steel reinforcement. Using local suppliers and labour throughout the construction phase meant we could reduce travel and vehicle emissions, lowering the carbon footprint of the project.

Community Facing

Focusing on local residents

The Bay to Bay project is all about serving the local community – but we also had to ensure that we served them during the construction phase, with minimal disruption.

It was something of a challenge – requiring precise planning of phased working areas. The walkway had to be closed to the public for a period of time, which meant diverting walkers along a pavement next to a nearby trunk road.

Road and car park closures were carefully timed around Network Rail working, national cycling and running events, the weather, winter storms and the harsh coastal environment.

A one-way system was put in place for lorries carrying out deliveries, so as not to put too much pressure on local traffic and roads.

Impact

Paving the way for the next phase

Following project completion, local residents and tourists have commented on the positive impact the project has had through improving the beauty of the area, improving accessibility, adding seating and artworks, and addressing environmental and ecological issues through easier access to bin waste.

This project was completed on time and within budget, which allowed use of risk contingency funds for other enhancement works such as art installations along the route.

"It was a very challenging project - particularly when working out how to construct it while reducing the impact as far as we possibly could to the public. Walking along it now, and seeing the amount of people using it is absolutely fantastic" said Andrew Berryman. 

"We constructing numerous cycle paths throughout Cornwall – utilising our expertise and multi-disciplinary approach, which enables us to engage with the project from the consultancy and design phase, right through to all aspects of construction, management of environmental concerns and connecting with the community.

Our background in coastal defences makes Cormac the ideal choice for coastal path management, renovations and construction". 

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    Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty Which Will be Linked by the Bay to Bay Trail

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    Months for Phase One to be Completed

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    Thousand Local Residents Who Will be Connected by the Bay to Bay Trail

  • The footpath has connected Marazion and Penzance and walking between the two has become a much more pleasurable experience.

    Marazion Resident

  • Because it’s a linear path, our only access was from Long Rock car park. So we had to close that off, and use the coastal path. Whilst we were doing it, sections had to be closed off – meaning coast path users had to walk along the beach or the main road.

    Andrew Berryman

    Senior Contracts Manager

  • It was a really satisfying project that now serves the local community all year round. We’ve had some very good feedback from the local community.

    Andrew Berryman

    Senior Contracts Manager

  • This investment will not only protect the path for many years to come, but also contribute to the regeneration of the Marazion and Penzance area by encouraging people to visit all year round.

    Tim Dwelly

    Cornwall Councillor

News (10)

Specialisms

Cormac began as a business with a remit to service all the civil engineering needs of Cornwall. As a consequence we have an extensive range of specialist skillsets, and can offer a true end-to-end service to our clients in Cornwall and beyond.

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