Strawberry Line Shute Shelve tunnel reopens

An old railway tunnel in North Somerset which had to be closed in December when large hazardous icicles formed inside has reopened after £30,000 of repairs.

Damage to the roof of the Shute Shelve tunnel on the disused Cheddar Valley Railway was discovered during an inspection by structural engineers.

A constant flow of water freezing and thawing during the winter had created large areas of loose masonry.

Repairs have included re-pointing in the northern end of the 180m tunnel.

Some 75m of netting has been installed at the southern end to prevent debris falling on to the path, North Somerset Council said.

Shute Shelve, near Winscombe, is on the eight-mile Strawberry Line Heritage Trail, a path popular with walkers and cyclists which is part of the National Cycle Network.

The Cheddar Valley railway closed in the 1960s and was nicknamed the Strawberry Line because it transported tonnes of the fruit from local farms for more than a century.

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