Proposed new trail for walkers and cyclists in East Devon could link Sidbury and Sidford

A new trail for walkers and cyclists proposed for East Devon could link Sidbury and Sidford if planners get the green light.

The county council wants to create a new ‘multi-use’ trail, linking Sidford to Hillside, Sidbury, in East Devon and is inviting the public to comment on the proposals.

The consultation runs until January 5, 2024, highlighting the draft blueprint and inviting public feedback through a survey before going before planners to seek permission.

An overview of the proposals can be seen through an online, virtual, consultation event, on Monday, December 4, from 5.30pm until 6.30pm.

It is expected a planning application will be submitted in spring 2024.

East Devon

The proposed route.
Image: with permission.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council member for highway management, said: “These plans for a multi-use trail at this location is very welcome news and is something that I have advocated for a number of years and would extend the current Byes multi-use trail between Sidmouth and Sidford.

“It will provide walkers and cyclists, who at present have to use the busy A375, with a safe alternative route while proposals for a new toucan crossing will provide people with a safe place to cross and will slow down vehicles approaching Sidford.

“Sidbury residents will have a safe route to Sidford, Sidmouth and the community college, and it will also encourage more people to choose active travel for short local journeys which will benefit their health and the environment.”

He added: “These proposals aren’t set in stone, and we want to hear what local people think and any suggestions before we apply for planning permission.”

Devon County Council (DCC) said the proposals follow on from a now-withdrawn planning application for a cycle route from Sidford to Sidbury, to run along the eastern side of the A375.

DCC pulled the previous proposal because of extra costs, engineering problems and road safety concerns.

And the eastern route required agreements with multiple landowners. The western route requires permission from one landowner

The fresh proposals include:

  • A multi-use trail, approximately half a mile in length, from the north side of the village of Sidford along the western side of the A375 (Two Bridges Road) connecting to Hillside, Sidbury.
  • Starting on land adjacent to the waste water treatment plant on the east of Two Bridges Road, the trail would cross the A375 via a new Toucan controlled signal-controlled crossing and run along the western side of the A375 in a northerly direction.
  • Crossing Ottery Lane via a new cycle/walking pedestrian priority crossing and through the existing agricultural land, eventually connecting into Hillside.

DCC said the latest plan was Phase 1 of the route, with developers providing Phase 2 between Hillside and Sidbury as part of their build agreement.

In addition to the online survey, you can also email feedback responses to transportplanning@devon.gov.uk Mark the subject Sidbury Walking and Cycling Scheme.

To access the virtual, online, event, email transportplanning@devon.gov.uk

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