Cash boost for Ottery link

AN Ottery councillor has pledged £3000 toward ending a game of ping-pong over the town s much-maligned bid for a cycleway and footpath to The King s School.

AN Ottery councillor has pledged £3000 toward ending a "game of ping-pong" over the town's much-maligned bid for a cycleway and footpath to The King's School.

Town, county and district councillor Roger Giles has provided the cash from his locality funding budget to help meet the costs of a feasibility report and described a reluctance by both District and County councils to take responsibility for the project as "most regrettable" and "totally unacceptable".

Question marks were raised over who would stump the £3,500 for the report, deemed necessary for the project to proceed.

Kate Little, EDDC's head of planning and countryside services will provide the remaining £500.

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"Cllr Giles said: It is a vitally important project in delivering a safe route to and from the Kings School for hundreds of students from Ottery. It would also provide benefits for many other people in that they would be able to make a short journey on foot, for instance between the Thorne Farm Way area to the Coleridge Medical Centre and Ottery town centre, which is likely to reduce vehicle journeys with all the benefits that flow from reduced car use."

"I am most anxious not to see the project delayed as a result of a game of ping pong between EDDC and DCC; the key to early progress is obviously constructive partnership working between all the different bodies. I am a member of both EDDC and DCC and can see that this project would provide work for both authorities, but it would deliver huge benefits for that work."

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Last month members of EDDC's executive board described further delays to the long-awaited Ottery footbridge and cycle route as a "ridiculous bureaucratic exercise" after demands that a footpath between the river Otter and Thorne Park Estate must be raised above flood level. As a result a 120-metre span bridge would increase projected costs would by £720,000 to £1.1 million, leaving financing for the scheme "well adrift". A total of £299,000 has been secured for the project to date.

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