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CTC Exeter - Newsletter - November 2007

Exmouth – Lympstone

Construction is due to be complete by the first week in December. A short bird study will be conducted before cyclists are allowed on the path which should be before Xmas. The Official Opening is scheduled for Friday 29th February 2007 and a Fun Day is planned for Saturday 1st March.

Lympstone – Exton

Planning consent has been obtained and the Council have identified money which will allow construction to take place during summer 2008.

Exton – Topsham

The Exton Village section of the Trial has proved to be contentious – with Exton village divided on whether the trail should be allowed at all. Three potential routes were been identified –

  1. a 'suspended route' on the estuary side of the rail line,
  2. along 'River Front' which is a lane immediately along side (the landward-side of) the rail line and
  3. along Exton Lane/Green Lane which runs parallel to the rail line but some 100 metres inland.

The first route has been rejected as it is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

The planning application which has just been issued allows for either of the two other routes to be adopted. The Executive Committee will have to decide in the next month which route is preferred for the cycleway. The application is now available [1] – comments are required before 7th December – for decision by 27th February. Comments are especially welcomed from walkers, people with disabilities and cyclists.

North of Exton the Trail will pass over a new bridge over the River Clyst (parallel to and on the east side of the rail bridge) before crossing Bowling Green Marsh and emerging through the rail arch onto Bowling Green Road.

Dart's Farm is considering operating a Cycle Hire facility and a link is being considered to the Estuary Trail. Work is underway on upgrading parts of the footway alongside the road link between Topsham and Clyst St George to a shared use path.

Turf Lock – Powderham

Given uncertainties about the Environment Agency's plans to update the flood wall the council has decided to press ahead with a path down on the flood plain. Given the increased traffic that the trail will attract it is necessary to replace the pedestrian crossing near Powderham Church by a bridge. Some local residents are concerned about the visual impact of a new bridge.

The Powderham Estate is understood to be planning to operate a Cycle Hire facility.

Powderham – Starcross

Monitoring has shown that the new 'traffic calming' measures have resulted in a modest reduction in traffic levels but no significant impact on speeds. There seems to be acknowledgement that this scheme is unsatisfactory – and the Council are reviewing what to do next. If anyone has any suggestions they should be sent to Paul Ewings (DCC Engineering Design Group) at County Hall.

Starcross – Dawlish

Slow progress is being made – agreement has been reached about use of land alongside the golf course – but negotiations near Dawlish are proving more difficult.

Cycle Training

Last year 892 10-11 year olds were trained to Bike Ability Level-2 standard. A similar number should be trained this year. Free Adult Training Sessions are being offered to anyone who buys a bike from an Exeter shop and comprehensive 16 hour training sessions (8 x 2 hours) are being made available for £16.

On-road Cycle Lanes

Roy Russell raised the issue of the width of on-road cycle lanes – a number of rather narrow lanes have been constructed (1.2 metres) which even the new DfT Standard for Cycling Infrastructure (which is under consultation) acknowledges can be worse than nothing. It seems that Exeter (and Devon) doesn't seem to have any standards. (Ref: http://www.dft.gov.uk/consultations/closed/infrastructuredesign/ ).

Planning Applications

Revised plans for the Royal Naval Stores Depot (RNSD) development have been submitted (ref 07/1176/02). Comments are required by 28 November.

The plans include two cycle 'routes' from the northern end of Newcourt Road to Old Rydon Lane. Neither route utilises the existing footpath alongside the rail-line.

One route parallels the rail-line and uses a relatively direct route on estate roads which are linked at either end by shared pedestrian/cycle paths to Newcourt Road and Old Rydon Lane. The later link is likely to involve a steep ramp (alongside the existing steps) which may have to be walked

The other route uses estate roads from the same southern starting point and emerges further west onto Old Rydon Lane. A picture both routes is available at http://www.lkjh.biz/ctc/cycleforum/hill_barton_topsham/index6.html .

The new proposal is an improvement over the original one which involved a serpentine route around the estate but it is disappointing that the opportunity was not taken to include the existing footpath into the plans.

Kirby James

CTC Exeter Sunday Rides Coffee Pots Bike Bus Devon News