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Cheddar Gorge for everyone?

Becky Collier
By Becky Collier
8th February 2024

Cheddar Gorge is famous for its towering limestone crags – but also for its traffic!


Ranks of parked cars line the upper gorge and the steady flow of vehicles can detract from what could be a wild and inspiring landscape.  There are problems with anti-social behaviour and the sheer volume of traffic in this narrow space is having an impact on visitor enjoyment and safety.

Now, the team who look after the Mendip Hills National Landscape want to try something new.  They are holding a public consultation on the idea to close the upper gorge to traffic, just once a month, using an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order.  If the idea is approved, the experiment would run for a trial period of up to 18 months. After that, a decision would be made on whether to make it permanent.

The idea is to create an experience that is fitting for a naturally beautiful and significant visitor attraction like Cheddar Gorge. Closing the road to traffic just once a month would allow walkers, cyclists and other visitors to enjoy the Gorge more safely and enhance their visitor experience.

Cheddar Gorge is the jewel in the crown of the Mendip Hills National Landscape. For too long, the Gorge has been dominated by traffic.  Cheddar Gorge is so special it has national protection. It has also recently been declared part of a new “super” National Nature Reserve.   If this experiment goes ahead, visitors will get to enjoy the Gorge in a whole new way.

We love this imaginative idea – do you?

CPRE Somerset believes that our countryside should be able to enjoyed by everyone so we fully support the idea of the trial road closure.

We hope that the experiment will get approval to go ahead after this consultation.  If the trial is a success, it will show that positive change is possible if people work together and give new ideas a try.

If you would like to have your say on this proposal, the consultation is open to anyone and runs until 12th March 2024.

Find out more and complete the online survey here


One of the wonders of the UK - Cheddar Gorge Louise Blackman