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CTC Exeter Sunday Rides Coffee Pots Bike Bus Devon News

CTC Exeter - Newsletter January 2008

Coffee Pot in Support of the Multiple Sclerosis Trust

Debbie Ironside-Smith will be hosting the Coffee Pot meeting on Thursday 31st January from 10:30. Debbie will be riding from London to Paris in the summer in support of the Multiple Sclerosis Trust – this will be an opportunity for you to support Debbie and the Trust. The meeting will be at Leslie House, Kenton which is the three story blue house directly opposite the main entrance to Powderham Castle.

Exeter Cycle Forum

More Funding for Cycling in Exeter

Ruth Kelly has announced an extra £120M of new funding for cycling over the next three years. The money will be distributed via Cycle England to

  • allow an extra 500,000 10 year-olds across England to take part in Bikeability cycle training by 2012
  • build another 250 Safe Links to Schools, connecting around 500 more schools to the National Cycle Network.
  • create up to a further 10 Cycling Demonstration Towns in England, as well as the first large Demonstration City.
  • Provide additional funding for the 6 existing Cycle Demonstration towns, of which Exeter is one, provided that they 'submit satisfactory plans for their continued development'.

Thus Cycle Exeter can reasonably expect a further three years of funding.

Exe Estuary Trail

The Exmouth-Lympstone section was un-officially opened just before Xmas. The Official opening will be on Friday 29th February to be followed on Saturday 1st March by a Fun Day centred on the King George V Playing Fields off Carter Avenue, Exmouth. Planning consent for the Lympstone-Exton section has been obtained and part of the construction will take place in 2008 and it will finish in summer 2009. The extended period is due to the ‘difficult’ terrain the path has to cross.

During consultation about the Exton to Topsham link the council received letters or emails of support from 116 people whilst 55 people objected. The scheme was reviewed by the Development Control Committee on 23rd January and the decision was deferred pending a site visit on 13th March. The main concern which prompted this visit was evidence presented on the safety of the route – the councillors thus wish to see the route for themselves.

New ‘artistic’ bike racks are being installed at Turf Locks. But the section between Turf and Powderham Church is proving contentious because of the need for a bridge over the high-speed rail line. The Council have funded a new aluminium bottomed boat for the Topsham Ferry which should be in service this summer.

The deficiencies of the route between Powderham Church and Starcross are recognised by the Council and they would still welcome suggestions on how this route can be improved.

Work on the Starcross-Cockwood section is due to start in summer 2008 and negotiations are continuing with landowners south of Cockwood.

Topsham-Dart’s Farm, Exton and Woodbury

Work continues on converting the narrow pavement between the old Topsham Bridge (over the Clyst) and Dart’s Farm to a shared use path. It is planned to build a spur from this path, along the eastern bank of the Clyst, past Tremletts’ Boat Yard, to link with Exe Estuary Trail on the Exton side of the existing railway bridge. The Exe Estuary Trail will cross the Clyst at this point using a new bridge. It is planned to extend the shared use path beyond Dart’s Farm up to the Clyst St George roundabout and thence via a Toucan Crossing to the lanes beyond Ebford. Apparently a group of villagers from Woodbury are interested in developing a route along Ebford Lane to give them access to the Exe Estuary Trail.

Exeter Travel to Work Tally

Devon County Council have published the results of the annual ‘Exeter Travel to Work Tally 2007’. This shows that 8.9% of respondents cycled to work, up from 8.5% in 2006. (66% used car, 12% walked, 8% used bus and 4% train).

Cycle Maps

A new style cycle map of Barnstaple has been published and maps covering Tiverton and Exmouth will be released shortly. A new map of Exeter – in a format different from the current series - is due to be released in April 2008.

Cycle Training

895 Exeter school children were trained in 2006/07 and so far this year 337 children have already been trained – given that the warmer months are approaching last year’s total should be beaten. Until recently training was limited to pupils at certain schools in Exeter. The scheme is now being extended to Saturday Sessions and Holiday Clubs to allow other children to take part. Information about these courses is available from Cycle Exeter on 0845 155 1004.

Exeter Road, Topsham

Numerous complaints have been received about the state of the shared use cycle path alongside Exeter Road, Topsham (NCN2). The road surface was redressed a few months ago but the surface has failed to bind and chippings are constantly being thrown onto the adjacent cycle route. A materials inspector is visiting the site next week to recommend what should be done next.

Cyclists’ Behaviour

In order to address the anti-social behaviour of a minority of cyclists Cycle Exeter has worked with Age Concern and St Peter’s School to produce a leaflet ‘The Road Code’ which is designed to help ensure that cyclists treat other shared path users with respect.

CTC Stars

Cycle Exeter have produced a glossy flyer advertising the 'Exeter Cycling Demonstration Town Project'. Featuring prominently is a colour picture of Exeter CTC members Bob Parker, Mike Bowden, Helen Wilson, June McDowell and Iris Strong at the 2007 Bike Week Event on the Quay.

RNSD Development

Planning consent has been obtained by Persimmon to build nearly 400 houses on the old Royal Naval Stores Deport. The developers are implementing a largely on road cycle route. Thus despite multiple prompts from CTC representatives the Council have failed to consider the advantages of converting the adjacent footpath to a shared use or segregated bike path. Mike Bowden is talking to the developers to see whether any changes can be made at this late stage.

National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)

Town planners and architects have been told to give pedestrians and cyclists priority over cars in towns, and to design staircases that make people want to use them, as part of a radical move to make Britons more physically active. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has departed from its usual remit of advising on NHS treatments to produce guidance on the built environment with regard to health.

The organisation urges local authorities to crack down on vehicle use, by such means as charging and traffic calming. The guidance was commissioned by the Department of Health, motivated by the obesity, cancers and heart disease that can accompany the sedentary lifestyle.

Inactivity, said Mike Kelly, director of NICE's centre for public health excellence, was estimated to cost roughly £8.2bn a year. He said 150 years ago planning had brought about fundamental shifts in public health by producing the conditions that helped eradicate certain infectious diseases. "This is a different problem that needs equally concerted action." NICE guidance is not binding on town planners, but talks have begun with groups that can encourage implementation, and studies have shown there would be considerable savings to the NHS if people were encouraged to walk and cycle, NICE said.

Kirby James – January 2008

CTC Exeter Sunday Rides Coffee Pots Bike Bus Devon News