A path network to be proud of

Congratulations to Exmouth Town Council on their unanimous and very positive attitude towards the creation of the Valley Parks footpaths/cycleways.

To this end they are arranging a site meeting at Hillcrest (St. Johns Road).

The concept of the Bapton and Withycombe linear Valley Parks has been in the public domain for a number of years. An official consultation (approximately 2002-3) brought positive results. East Devon District Council accepted the Exmouth Cycle Strategy as part of its Supplementary Planning Guidance in 2008. The Valley Parks Network forms a significant part of the current Local Plan as ‘LEX 1’.

The Bapton and Withycombe Brooks radiate from Phear Park towards Exmouth’s countryside, forming a potential off-road network of safe routes.

Why are these routes so important? They will promote traffic-free walking and cycling, be for people of all ages and be available to get to schools, work, shops and the countryside.

They will encourage sustainable transport, create access to many areas of the town, complement the Exe Estuary Trail and the Buzzard route towards Budleigh, reduce car travel and offer opportunities for recreation and healthy exercise.

They will also encourage independence, especially in young people and help to create a centre for exploring East Devon by bike

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It is essential that the routes be safeguarded.

The present resolve of the town council could point the way to a footpath/cycle network of which Exmouth will one day be proud.

Jan Pawson

1 Greenacre, 5 Isca Road, Exmouth