Cycleway: pair 'on the case'
TWO local councillors, who have fought for several years to set up a cycleway between Sidmouth and Feniton, are assuring residents that they are on the case . Councillors Stuart Hughes and Roger Giles have been working on the creation of an Otter and Sid
TWO local councillors, who have fought for several years to set up a cycleway between Sidmouth and Feniton, are assuring residents that they are "on the case".
Councillors Stuart Hughes and Roger Giles have been working on the creation of an Otter and Sid Valley Cycleway, which would run along the disused railway line from Feniton to Sidmouth via Ottery St Mary and Tipton St John, for ten years.
Although they received a blow last year when their proposal for funding to Investing in Devon-a group set up to allocate funds from Devon County Council's sale of Exeter Airport- was unsuccessful, they are assuring local groups that they are progressing with the cycleway.
And they have submitted a proposal for it to be included in the Government funded Local Transport Plan 2012-2017, which will be announced within the next 12 to 18 months.
Mr Hughes said: "We have got to get it identified within that transport plan. That is the only way we can get funding for it now."
The two councillors are also outlining a proposal for the Sidford to Sidmouth link to be extended in the LTP.
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Mr Hughes explained: "We need the Sidbury to Sidford link in there as well to join the whole thing together- it's common sense to extend it."
Two feasibility studies have been carried out by EDDC and DCC on the disused railway and the councillors believe it is a viable way of extending the cycle route in East Devon.
Mr Hughes added: "The studies looked at the state of track and it was generally in good condition.
"It is a major cycleway which would be of considerable benefit to the local economy. "The Camel and Tarka routes among others have been really popular and they have benefitted local shops, guest houses and cafes etc. It would be a huge boost to our economy."
Mr Giles said: "There are two particular advantages to the cycleway for Ottery as there would be the north to south link and an east to west link running from The King's School to the Land of Canaan.
"There will be more people cycling, more people who are healthy and fitter and more children cycling to school.