Work under way on final section of trail

CONSTRUCTION of a crucial section of the Exe Estuary Trail is underway which will provide access to Topsham.

The �220,000 scheme, to create Odham’s Link, is expected to be completed by February 2011. The work will produce a missing link on the route between Exeter and Exmouth.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council cabinet member for highways and transportation, said the trail was really taking shape.

“The trail is already a tremendous asset to the area and its popularity will continue to grow as it nears completion,” he said.

The link is an interim solution to provide access from the Exe Estuary trail to Topsham, while also creating a permanent connection to Ebford.

At its southern end it will connect the Exton to Clyst Bank section and its northern end. Odham’s Link joins the existing Ebford Link and cycle route towards Topsham.

The new stretch will run along the route of the old railway siding to Odham’s Wharf. Together with the recently completed Ebford Link and the proposed new structure over the River Clyst at Fisher’s Bridge, it would complete the cycle/walkway between Ebford village, the Exe Estuary Trail and Topsham.

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Councillor Stuart Hughes added: “This link will eventually complete a crucial section that will enable people to walk or cycle the full distance between Exmouth and Exeter on the route.”

Devon County Council’s cabinet approved the scheme last April.

Odham’s Link was granted conditional planning permission by its development management committee last month. The works are being undertaken by SWH Ltd.

The entire trail is due to be completed around 2015 and will eventually provide a 16-mile route around the whole of the Estuary.

Previous sections of the trail from Exmouth to Lympstone formally opened in February 2008 while Lympstone to Exton opened in May this year.