Rules for path vary
PUBLISHED: 07:00 09 March 2013
In reply to Jim Beed's letter last week: I'm aware there is often conflict between dog walkers and cyclists on the routes between Topsham and Budleigh Salterton.
Some time ago, I contacted EDDC to resolve the question of dogs being on- or off-lead on these paths, since there was some ambiguity.
The cycle track right up to Exmouth requires dogs to be on a lead.
However, as the council confirmed, on the Buzzard track from Exmouth to Budleigh, a lead is not required: dogs should be under control, and should recall if called by the owner.
In order to recall your dog, some warning of a cyclist’s approach is obviously needed.
The signs at the entrances to the Buzzard path also explain that cyclists must give way to other users. The path is shared-use between riders (bridle paths connect to it), walkers, and dog-walkers and is not a dedicated cycle track.
Mr Beed is apparently not aware that different sections of the overall route have a variation in use.
Regarding bells, a bell is legally required to be fitted to a bicycle, and from observation, only 30 per cent of cyclists either have them or use them on this path.
Cyclists riding between Exmouth and Budleigh must accept they are on a shared-use community path and ride with appropriate respect for other users.
I recall my dogs away from cyclists, as any accident is more likely to hurt my dog than the cyclist, but most cyclists approach silently and this is very unhelpful.
I hope this clarifies for Mr Beed that not all the sections of the Topsham-Budleigh route are a dedicated cycle track.
In summer, when dogs are banned outright from most of the beach, the Buzzard path is a much-needed resource for dog walkers.
Please refer to the signs on entering the Buzzard path. Many thanks.