Rerouting of Exe Estuary Trail ‘not a priority’

09:00 05 April 2014

Archant

Lympstone residents have been told that the Exe Estuary Trail through their village will not yet be rerouted, despite their concerns over safety.

However, they have been invited to look at potential issues with a new route next to the railway line to see if they could be resolved.

Villagers have been warning Devon County Council for several years about the problems with the trail, which directs cyclists along the village’s roads, and have made a record of dozens of accidents and near misses, which have occurred with cars and pedestrians.

However, campaigners and parish councillors have now been told that only incidents reported to the police, of which there has only been one, can be considered. They have also been told that rerouting the trail is not seen as a priority.

The council does intend to look at educating cyclists, and installing rumble strips to slow them down.

However, campaigners, who handed a 265-signature petition for change to the council last month, are not convinced and have requested information from the council before considering their next move.

Chairman of the Lympstone Trail Action Group Judith Carter said: “There are problems with rumble strips, as they are not good for bikes and they make a lot of noise.

“We are not too happy, as we can see the number of cyclists and the number of people coming to the village increasing year-on-year, with more trails being linked, which will make the situation worse, so we still have big concerns.”

A DCC spokesman said it relied on police accident information to ensure that a consistent approach was taken across the county.

He added: “The county council recognised that it would help to slow cyclists down. The parish council was asked to consider a package of speed reduction measures including some form of rumble strips on the road and raising awareness with cycling groups.

“The county council pointed out the very significant challenges with an alternative route. For example, issues of land acquisition, potential conflict with future aspirations for a rail passing loop, the limited width on some sections of the alternative route and the sourcing of funds.

“Given the current priorities of the county council, the parish was invited to work on these issues to see if solutions could be developed that would enable a scheme to progress.”

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