2013 Cycling updates: September/October

REPORTS FROM OUR CORRESPONDENTS:

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The new walking / bike route from the College near the Sports Hall to the Byes opened last year. This is open to the general public to access the facilities at the College, offering a safe route away from school traffic at the main entrance.  Unfortunately, the signage at either end is not very clear, and it seems the gates open and close with the College, which means that Sports Hall users have no access after school hours, other than through the main entrance.

The County Council funded the new route, the SCA committee of the College funded the long jump being moved & Sustrans funded new bike sheds.

There are concerns that there might be no Sidmouth College Association as of September 2014, in which case, the association might well cease and all the considerable funds will pass to the College to manage…

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From County Cllr Stuart Hughes it is understood that the Sidford to Sidbury walk / bike route “is at present being drawn up with a consultation and then planning application going forward in New Year.” [e-mail 25th September]

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Cycling and walking along and near to the Sidmouth to Feniton trail:

The most interesting link possible from Newton Poppleford to Otterton, and the quiet road from Tipton to Newton Poppleford…

Newton P. to Otterton is particularly relevant because it would link with NCN route 2, which only about 200m from the old rail tract in Otterton. Also, it could be classified as a feeder route into the national network, and for many decades Sustrans has been interested in feeder routes.

Not only could the old rail tract between Newton P. and Otterton function as a feeder route but from the point of view of land ownership is has only one interested party… and, according to reports on the ground as it were, “ in recent years they have been much more positive the cycling than they were some 8 years ago” when they were first approached…

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A feasibility study of the Feniton to Sidmouth route was carried out by Sustrans and EDDC some ten years ago… and is part of the foundations for the new study being carried out this autumn…

In February 2000 the then-Area Manager of Sustrans put together the report “Feasibility Study into the use of Disused Railway Lines in East Devon as Cycle Paths” – now being used by his successor in the post…

As it contains details of the landowners from over a decade ago, it is by now out of date. Naturally, it will need to be kept in confidence, with fresh contacts with the current landowners being undertaken…

From the report to the Futures Forum meeting 24th September:

The new Devon Manager for Sustrans (‘Sustainable Transport’) Paul Hawkins then spoke about his determination to undertake a feasibility study for the Feniton cycle path. It was vital to engage positively with landowners as well as meet up with local groups over the coming months – and he asked for anyone with knowledge of the route to contact him on paul.hawkins@sustrans.org.uk or Tel: 07917 612782.

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Some three years ago or more the County Council considered a proposal to build the cycle Feniton to Sidmouth tract.  It was at the time of the sale of Exeter Airport and DCC had the funds.  However, there was another proposal from a Seaton Councillor for the “stop line” from Seaton to Weston Super Mare and so the relevant County committee supported the Seaton bid – although since then, the “stop line” tract has met problems, particularly at the Devon/Somerset border…

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A meeting for Sustrans Volunteers in Devon is coming up in November, giving cycling activists the opportunity to meet up with those from more distant parts.

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The Vision Group intends to make an application to the Coastal Communities Fund next April – for about £1.1 which would help get off the ground the Feniton to Sidmouth cycle/walking tract.

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The Vision Group will be joining the Sid Valley Cycle Club – literally. The VGS chair intends to become a member and venture with the club up the Peaks and troughs of the surrounding hills…

After the Tour of Britain , there is a groundswell of interest in the Club – and a local cyclist is keen to continue “Criterium”…

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Collated by Jeremy Woodward

on behalf of the Futures Forum of the Vision Group for Sidmouth

   
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