Give people chance to get used to new path

PUBLISHED: 15:02 20 February 2008 | UPDATED: 08:50 10 June 2010

I have read the correspondence and articles about the new Exmouth to Lympstone cycle and footpath (and its planned continuation to Exeter) with great interest. I work locally for Sustrans, the charitable organisation which promotes the 12,000 mile Nation

I have read the correspondence and articles about the new Exmouth to Lympstone cycle and footpath (and its planned continuation to Exeter) with great interest. I work locally for Sustrans, the charitable organisation which promotes the 12,000 mile National Cycle Network, of which the Exe Estuary Trail is a part. So far we have about 4,000 miles of traffic-free paths across the UK, built and operated in partnership with local authorities, and 8,000 miles on minor roads. We know from experience that traffic-free paths often attract as many walkers as cyclists, plus disability scooters, children's buggies and dogs. As with any shared space, it takes a little while for people to get used to the interaction with others - the unwritten code of conduct. At least by taking motorised vehicles out of the equation, all users are much safer and fairly equally vulnerable. However, there is a very wide range of speeds among cyclists and walkers as some are travelling to and from work or school, some are exercising aerobically whereas others are out for a stroll and a chat, viewing birds or learning to cycle. We should all therefore expect to be overtaken by others approaching from behind as well as to meet people coming the other way. A central white line and symbols has been suggested by some to segregate cyclists from walkers. We find that this may be acceptable in urban settings, where there is sufficient width, but that it intrudes on the rural experience where signs and markings are kept to a minimum (ideally, we would not have fences either). Better for all users to be aware of others and to keep left and overtake on the right. Use of bells and polite voices by those overtaking is to be encouraged, but remember that some of us are hard of hearing or have restricted sight or mobility. Everyone should be prepared to stop suddenly to avoid a collision.As, in any other public place, dogs should be under close control. Given the narrow confines of this path and general lack of verges, this should mean kept on a short lead (not an extendible type). If a dog is known to dislike cyclists, then this is not the place to bring it. Clearing up after your dog (and, of course, not leaving any other litter) is also essential.Rather than focussing on the negative things that might happen or could possibly have been done better, let's celebrate the fact that here we have a new facility allowing free access to all to a quiet, safe, healthy and pleasant environment which also enables you to get from A to B. The trail, when completed, will be an enormous boost to tourism in Exmouth and therefore has economic benefits too. Come along to the fun day for all on the path on March 1 to mark its official opening.Peter Grainger,36 Rivermead Road, Exeter. I HAVE NOT BEEN CONSULTEDAs a local Exmouth town councillor for the Town Ward, I feel I must respond and put the record straight regarding the proposed regeneration of Exmouth and the involvement of councillors up till now. Not a day goes by without residents contacting me to complain about the decisions that have been made. They also ask me why I have agreed to these proposals.I would like to say publicly that, contrary to general belief and press comments, I have not been consulted at any stage. The first "official" notification I will have had will be Monday evening (February 11) when there was a full Exmouth Town Council meeting, which was not open to the public and press. At that meeting we will have received a presentation from ASDA and ASM, their developers. I sincerely hope these developers will show the same respect to the residents of Exmouth and put on an open session, sooner rather than later.I am concerned about what these proposals may contain and the possible effect on the estuary and its valuable and beautiful environment. I am not against change or another supermarket, but the site has to be chosen very carefully. We have the opportunity to create something worthwhile for Exmouth, but we must learn from the errors of the past - the Magnolia Centre being a prime example.I hope this clarifies the misunderstanding. At the end of the day, residents must have their say on the future of Exmouth. We need to leave our children and grandchildren a legacy they will be proud of, not another catalogue of errors.Steve Gazzard,11 Marpool Crescent, Exmouth.ASDA WILL BRING TRAFFIC CHAOSWhy are discussions still being held about estuary plans for asda, when the majority of the people in the area do not want a supermarket in the estuary area?Are these people deaf or brain dead that they cannot see the traffic chaos this will cause in this area? Have they looked to see how busy it is even in the winter months before the tourists arrive? Traffic jams all down Marine Way, it is bad enough now without adding to it.Will someone please shake them and wake them up.There are better alternatives for building a supermarket in other areas in Exmouth - and they should investigate them. Terence Hart,21 Warneford Gardens, Exmouth.SAVE BUDLEIGH FROM TESCOI was amazed by your report concerning Tesco and their possible move into Budleigh Salterton with an Express store. I was even more amazed by the comments of the mayor.It is important to realise what we have here. It is becoming unique among some modern towns and their made-to-measure shopping facilities. We are blessed with a wide range of businesses, many established for a great number of years - and all of them providing a good service, good merchandise, and cheerfulness. Most of their profits will be spent locally. Does Mr Shiel consider that changing all that for another Tesco, or similar outlet, will help our quality of life and will it aid fair competition? I very much doubt it!'Out-of-town shopping has had its day in this country'. Does this herald imminent closure of our nearest supermarkets? Very unlikely. At present, Tesco have no plans for opening in the town so my wife and I will still use both outlets and will continue doing so into the future. We must guard Budleigh against unsuitable intrusion on a good way of life - or one day, we may lose it.B Kennard-Simpson,Otterton.DEFRA: IS IT FEATHER-BRAINED?Rather shockingly the other week, DEFRA reduced its restrictions on game bird-related activities in the bird flu outbreak area. The changes were made to reduce the financial impact on the game bird industry of the local ban on shooting and to allow an end-of-season gathering up of brood birds in the wild, to produce some of the next generation in captivity for the next season's shooting. These changes were made while DEFRA is still finding dead swans. - and, while it doesn't know how the H5N1 bird flu got here or where it has spread to, or which migratory birds first infected the non-migratory, now dead, swans.It is simply outrageous DEFRA lifts early the restrictions in a disease control zone to allow shooting and wild bird collection from the wild for sport and, thereby, create wholly unnecessary perturbation of wildlife, which could easily spread the disease. Someone in the inner working of DEFRA has completely lost the plot. At the same time as the World Health Organisation is warning that the next human flu pandemic could kill millions of people and it is likely to come from a mutation of the bird flu virus, DEFRA is effectively putting the public at wholly unnecessary risk, albeit a low level of risk, to support a blood sport by lifting disease containment restrictions. Feather brained or what?Kathy Moyle,4 Collins Park, East Budleigh, Budleigh Salterton.WARNING FROM 'HOME OF ASDA'I left Exmouth many years ago and now live in West Yorkshire (the 'home of Asda').Although the idea of superstore shopping is initially attractive, I do not believe it is necessarily best for the community. These stores bring a massive increase in traffic with no benefit to local traders. Shoppers go to Asda, shop, fill their cars and go home without venturing beyond the store car park.In my local town, many small businesses cannot compete and close, soon to be replaced by yet another charity shop.Does Exmouth really need more traffic and more charity shops? Ken Jones,Shipley, West Yorkshire.HELP TO CRITICISE YOUR COUNCILAs a regular reader of the Journal, I could not help but notice the many complaints of which most are the East Devon District Council's responsibility. While spending a little time and research on the internet, I found this website which may be of interest for people who do not just want to have a moan in the local newspaper, but actually actively do something about it: www.fixmystreet.com On this website, problems can be reported by entering the post code where the issue is located or it can be clicked on via a street map. The report is then sent straight away to the responsible council and, very importantly, the report is published on the site for everyone to see and trace if a resolution has been found by the council. Your name will not appear on the published report unless wanted. I myself have reported a couple of problems, but unfortunately the issue remains. I wanted to share the website with the huge amount of people who are getting more than fed up with the ever-rising council tax for a council that keeps Exmouth only tidy when it is tourist season from March until October. Please, council remember: it is the people who live here who pay your wages and vote for you and we are not part-time citizens. Unfortunately, you have to put up with us all year around. Melanie Ayling, of Exmouth.(via email) WE SHOULDN'T FORGET HOLOCAUSTit is a matter of history that, when the supreme commander of the allied forces, General Dwight Eisenhower, found the victims of the death camps, he ordered all possible photographs to be taken and for the German people from the surrounding villages to be ushered through the camps and even to help bury the dead. As he did this, he said: "Get it all on record, get the films, get the witnesses, because somewhere down the track of history someone will get up and say it never happened." This week the UK removed the holocaust from its school curriculum because it offended the Muslim population because they claimed it never happened.Do you not think this is a frightening portent of the fear that is gripping the World and how easy each country is giving in, especially ours? It is now more than 60 years since the Second World War in Europe ended. This letter should be printed in memory of the six million Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians and 1,900 Catholic priests who were murdered, massacred, raped, starved, burned, gassed and humiliated. Now, more than ever, with more and more people claiming the holocaust to be a myth, it is imperative to make sure the World never forgets."All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" - EDMUND BURKE.Do you not think this country is being brought to its knees by political madness gone wrong?Mark A Sims,20 Salisbury Road, Exmouth.NO TO FLUORIDEThe public should not be fooled by the UK Government's planned push to mass medicate everyone in England and Wales with fluoride.Currently, five million UK people are being medicated by water companies with fluorosilicic acid, which violates their basic human right to refuse any medical intervention. The European Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine states: "An intervention in the health field may only be carried out after the person concerned has given free and informed consent to it."Support National Pure Water Association's campaign to stop enforced fluoridation before it spreads any further. Visit - www.npwa.org.uk Check out this interview of Hardy Limeback, professor of preventative dentistry - http://tinyurl.com/32h9hlFelicity Mawson,27 Armond Road, Witham, Essex.

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