A new cycle path could be set to link the north of Exmouth to the Exe Estuary Cycle Trail, after funding was approved by Exmouth Town Council.

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Currently, residents of Halsdon and Brixington have to either cycle all the way down to Mudbank Lane to join the trail, or brave narrow roads through Lympstone.

The new plan will see a path across Lower Halsdon Farm, linking the Estuary Trail with the A376. Cyclists would then go up Lamplough Road.

Some funding for the project will come from the £100,000 of Section 106 money paid to the town by developers, which has been allocated to deliver a ‘valley parks’ cycle scheme.

Although the new trail is not in the valley parks, town councillors, who allocate the money on behalf of East Devon District Council, this week voted to use £40,000 of the money towards the Lower Halsdon link.

Faced with a choice between a lower quality ‘rolled hoggin’ surface, and a high-spec finish to match the existing trail, councillors went with the high-grade option, meaning the overall cost of the path is estimated at around £200,000, although this could reduce in final costings.

Councillors also said that a Devon Bank should be constructed to protect neighbouring homes.

As well as the town council, the National Trust is also working with East Devon District Council, Devon County Council, Exmouth Cycle Group and Sustrans to deliver the scheme.

In response to councillors’ concerns about cyclists having to cross the busy A376, EDDC’s Neil Blackmore said it was a long term ambition of the county council to build a toucan crossing on the road.

The path could now take around 24 months to be built, if the rest of the funding, which is being applied for by the county council, and planning permission are secured.

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