New cycle route planned

PUBLISHED: 12:51 02 July 2014 | UPDATED: 12:51 02 July 2014

A view of the Strand Gardens in Exmouth. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exe 5026-16-11SH

A view of the Strand Gardens in Exmouth. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exe 5026-16-11SH

Archant

A new town centre cycle route, linking the Exe Estuary Trail with the seafront and Budleigh Salterton, could be open by the end of the summer before the Tour of Britain.

On Monday, town hall chiefs backed a route from the train station, past the leisure centre, across Imperial Road to Manchester Road, and past Haldon House Surgery.

Cyclists would then turn right, cycle past TSB, past the taxi rank, Thomas Tuckers and to Chapel Hill.

In reverse from the seafront, bikes would enter The Strand from Chapel Hill using a ‘cycle-only’ contra flow to TSB, before the route goes back up Manchester Road.

The route was changed because of worries that cyclists would mingle with pedestrians.

Town councillors had concerns about the route not being signposted and fears about the safety of pedestrians.

Paul Hawkins of Sustrans said: “Regarding concerns that the mixing of cycling traffic with other users of The Strand, the signed route will not change the habits of local cyclists, who,will continue to cycle where they cycle at present

“It will be used by visitors to the area wishing to explore Exmouth.

“As a result, they are unlikely to ride at speed and likely to stop at various shops.”

Councillor John Humphreys said: “They have gone away, they have reviewed it, and come up with an alternative route.”

Councillor Brian Toye said:

“Not all cyclists are considerate. There are probably just a few bad apples in a big barrel but you have got to protect the public.

“You could have signs that could say ‘would cyclist please dismount in pedestrianised areas’.

Councillor Steve Gazzard said: “I must say, I am surprised about the amount of cyclists who do dismount in places like the subway. My initial fears are allayed, and I think the majority of cyclists I have seen do behave responsibly.”

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