Lympstone cycling changes criticised - see our video and decide for yourself

Cobbles installed on the Exe Estuary Trail at Lympstone.

Cobbles installed on the Exe Estuary Trail at Lympstone. - Credit: Archant

New street furniture designed to slow cyclists in Lympstone has itself been criticised as potentially unsafe.

The Exe Estuary Trail passes along roads in the centre of the village, which has previously sparked safety concerns about large numbers of cyclists sharing the road with cars and pedestrians.

Now, Devon County Council has stepped in to install strips of cobbles, designed to encourage cyclists to slow and keep to the correct side of the road at various points through the village, along with a road hump where cyclists climb towards the railway station.

However, Councillor Chris Carter, chairman of Lympstone Parish Council, said he had received complaints. He said: “Cyclists trying to avoid [the hump] sweep halfway across the road, and some to the other side of the road.”

One cyclist, who asked not to be named, said that the hump could damage bikes or cause riders to fall off, and added that the cobbles could impede cyclists trying to see round a blind bend.

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He also raised fears the cobbles could be slippery when wet, though the county council has denied this.

Judith Carter, chairman of the village’s trail action group, said they had called for something to be done around two years ago as part of a campaign to reroute the trail away from the road entirely, and had not been expecting work to be carried out now. She said they would monitor the effect of the changes.

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A spokesman for Devon County Council said: “The works follow a consultation with the parish council and are designed to reduce the speed of cyclists through the village and to encourage them to maintain the correct lane of travel as the cycle route merges with the carriageway.

“The cobbles have an upstand of less than 6mm to minimise tripping and have a long-wearing anti-skid surface which has been thoroughly safety-tested.

“We have also installed a road hump on Station Road, to encourage cyclists to maintain their lane of travel. Therefore, cyclists heading in the Exmouth direction should be less likely to ‘cut the corner’ at this junction.

“Two safety audits were carried out during the design and implementation process and two more are scheduled - both post-build safety reviews of the scheme will allow for any safety issues to be rectified if required.”

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