Funding awarded to support walking and cycling routes

Authored by Mary
Posted: Friday, May 19, 2023 - 18:42

Walking and cycling schemes in the county have received a £2.1 million cash injection after Devon County Council secured Active Travel Funding from central government.

A number of priority active travel projects in Exeter, Newton Abbot, North Devon and Torridge will be supported with the funding to enable and encourage more people to walk and cycle.

The schemes to benefit from the grant award are:

Over £900,000 will help complete a section of the Tarka Trail between Ilfracombe and Braunton, delivering a key missing link of the trail near Willingcott Valley Holiday Village and on Nethercott Road, as well as enabling design development for other sections.

A zebra crossing will be constructed on Richmond Road in Appledore, near the Kingsley Avenue junction. This will support children, parents and staff walking to Appledore Primary School, as well as people visiting Anchor Park.

Subject to committee approval, Queen Street in Newton Abbot will also undergo improvements to support walking and cycling, with £500,000 of funding awarded to complement Future High Streets funding. This scheme will include footway widening, improved crossing facilities and greening and seating to improve the local environment. Changes are also proposed to parking and vehicular access arrangements, to facilitate the improvements and reduce traffic noise and pollution.

In Exeter, £200,000 will go towards road layout enhancements in Queen Street and Iron Bridge which recently got underway. This scheme will ensure that the changes introduced during the pandemic to provide more space and improve safety for walkers and cyclists are made permanent.

Around £400,000 of funding will be used to upgrade walking and cycling links in Wonford, Exeter. This will include the construction of a bi-directional cycleway and pedestrian/cycle crossings on Rifford Road, which will form part of the E12 North-South strategic cycle route.

Work will also be carried out to design schemes to improve connections between the proposed Rifford Road cycleway and existing walking and cycling facilities.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “This is very welcome funding towards the development and construction of a number of important active travel schemes. All of these schemes will provide benefits for health and wellbeing, as well as helping people to access education, employment and leisure facilities. We want to enable and encourage more people in Devon to walk and cycle, while also creating more attractive environments in town and city centres.”

This latest grant from the Active Travel Fund is in addition to the £580,000 secured from the Active Travel Capability Fund 2022/23, and follows previous successful bids for nearly £3 million from earlier rounds of the Active Travel Fund.