Regrets the split over cycle path
I write in response to your correspondent Ian Woolger, of Budleigh Salterton, and would wish to put the record straight with respect to his comments regarding the Exe Estuary Cycle Track through our village. I have for many years been involved with creat
I write in response to your correspondent Ian Woolger, of Budleigh Salterton, and would wish to put the record straight with respect to his comments regarding the Exe Estuary Cycle Track through our village.I have for many years been involved with creating unity in our village and nobody regrets more than me the split that has occurred as a result of these proposals. The facts, as I see it, are that for the benefit of the vast majority of the residents of Exton and the wider community of East Devon and Exeter, that the best and most practical route for the cycle track is, as it is for the majority of the rest of the track, on the landward side of the railway on Railtrack land from the station platform to the crossing at Catkins Lane. Unfortunately, many years ago the station building was sold and, as a result, a very short (probably less than 100 yards section) is in the private ownership of the residents of the Riverfront. They have formed themselves into an effective lobby group and have made it quite clear to Devon County Council that they will resist the cycle track in front of their houses and have taken legal moves to ensure maximum disruption to any action taken by Devon county. While one can possibly understand that they may not wish to have the cycle track affecting their enjoyment of the estuary, I firmly believe that its impact will be marginal and the benefits to them and others would be far greater. The argument that it will affect the value of their property is the one that is most used and I would seriously challenge that statement, in that any diminution of value caused by the cycle track would be more than compensated for by the fact that residents could be in Topsham, either on foot or cycle, in no time at all and that Topsham property prices will move our way. I am a little unclear as to whether all the residents of the Riverfront are against these proposals or that it is just a vociferous minority (perhaps five or six) who have shown their neighbours photographs of the fencing at Exmouth, which is not pretty in places but, in general, has much less impact than expected.If at some time the county is successful in negotiating or compulsorily purchasing this route, then I believe that the whole village should support the Riverfront by ensuring that the proposed fencing has minimal impact on the residents of that area. I must also make it clear that, from the indications that I have heard up to now, the whole village is in favour of the cycle track and will welcome its final completion. That said, the current proposed route through our village takes cyclists and pedestrians along narrow lanes up and down a hill with many blind vehicular access points. It is often blocked with delivery and other large vehicles and is quite frankly very dangerous. It is only a matter of time before there will be an accident if this route is pursued. There are longish stretches where it is impossible for a bike to pass an oncoming car without the cyclist dismounting, and dodging into a (private) gateway. Pedestrians experience similar difficulties.I too have observed the new route from Exmouth to Lympstone and I would also like to congratulate the county council on the construction of an excellent facility that will be enjoyed by ours and many generations to come. My only hope is that the finally completed route will be to the same high standard along its entire length.So, please, Mr Woolger do not refer to the residents of Exton as "monied nimbies". We are or have been, in the majority, successful business people and professionals who have made a significant positive impact on the economy of the region. Probably contrasting with the majority of residents of "God's Waiting Room" of whom a good friend of mine and my father, the late "Digger" Rogers (who was a local fisherman who could trace his family tree back in Budleigh for 400 years), once said, and I quote: "The trouble with Budleigh Salterton is that too many b*****s comes down yer to die and when they gets yer they forgets to b***y do it.Richard Jacobs,Orchard Vale,Exton Lane, Exton.BRING BACK FIREWORKSIn reply to Colin Porter's letter last week regarding the lack of fireworks on New Year's Eve - here, here! In years past there was always a fantastic firework display on the beach at midnight, supported by huge crowds of happy people out in fancy dress, celebrating the New Year. This, along with the spectacular fancy dress on parade, was a factor in putting Exmouth on the map as one of the premier places in the country to visit over the festive period. Surely the town council could put aside a sum of money to bring the fireworks back and bring the visitors into Exmouth. Karen Bamsey,Richmond Road, Exmouth.INCENTIVES A GOOD IDEAREGARDING the news about lump sum incentives being offered to encourage East Devon council tenants to downsize.Too right they should downsize. It would mean that families like us, who have been on the waiting list for four years, would not be stuck in privately rented accommodation with one bedroom for ourselves and our 12-month-old baby girl, with no heating, horrific damp and slug infestations. Both myself and my daughter get recurrent throat and chest infections because of the damp and the council cannot offer us any housing. As well as the downsizing, which the tenants cannot really be blamed for, why is it that people coming from outside the area get a house at the click of their fingers? If I was a single parent, who did not work, with three kids, I'd get pick of the bunch, but because we work we are penalised. Name and address withheld.CLEAN UP TOWN INSTEADI am writing about the prospect of a large supermarket being built on Exmouth estuary. I think to do this and to say that it is to bring trade to the town is absurd. The small shops will go out of business without a doubt and even shops like Boots and Woolworth will be threatened - after all, why go to Boots when you can buy all your toiletries, cosmetics and tablets at the supermarket? If we want to bring people back into the town, what we need is for it to be cleaned up (messy eateries and pigeons' mess spring to mind) to make the town more attractive. The estuary is a beautiful place. Please do not spoil it with an ugly building and more traffic fumes than anything living on the estuary can cope with. Aren't we all fed up with these monstrous places taking over the world? Don't let them do it here.Mrs S Major,151 Exeter Road, Exmouth.