Cycling investment to help Devon's economy

PUBLISHED: 15:30 15 January 2009 | UPDATED: 12:12 17 June 2010

DEVON County Council s £5 million investment in cycle routes will aim to stimulate the local economy by putting the county on the map as a premier destination for cycle tourism.

DEVON County Council's £5 million investment in cycle routes will aim to stimulate the local economy by putting the county on the map as a premier destination for cycle tourism.

The money from the Investing In Devon fund, generated by the sale of Exeter Airport, will not only add to the extensive network of designated cycleways in Devon but will also build on the County Council's efforts for Devon to become England's greenest county.

The funding will be used to develop commuter and recreational routes, many of which will attract visitors for short cycling breaks.

Among the major schemes that will benefit from the funding is the Stop Line Way along the Axe Estuary, which follows the historic World War Two defences from Burnham-on-Sea to Seaton. The Stop Line Way will receive £1.8 million with the aim of having the whole route, particularly the key section across Devon, substantially completed in time for the 2012 Olympics. The first phase of the Seaton to Colyford section has already been constructed and a planning application has been submitted for a crossing under the A35, creating a traffic free link between Axminster and Kilmington. And £1.3million will go towards an important commuter and leisure route between Newton Abbot and Teignmouth.

Councillor Margaret Rogers, Devon County Council Executive Member for Environment, said: "This is a substantial investment that will create a legacy for people in Devon. The county already offers extensive cycling routes and these schemes can reinforce our reputation as the place to visit to enjoy miles of scenic cycling. With more people deciding to holiday in Britain rather than abroad, these routes will put Devon at the forefront of attracting more tourists for cycling holidays, which potentially could have a healthy impact on Devon's economy.

"Creating a comprehensive network of cycle routes in Devon can encourage more people to cycle to school or work, which will benefit people's health and the local environment, and it is further proof of Devon's ambition to be even greener."

The investment will also fund:

* The completion of a link from Hatherleigh to Holsworthy along the Ruby Way;

* A shared footway and cycleway from Pinhoe to Broadclyst;

* An extension of the route from Clearbrook to Roborough on the outskirts of Plymouth;

* Upgrading the Haldon Forest Trails.

Devon County Council has made significant improvements in cycling infrastructure in recent years, with the Cycle Exeter Project alone creating 18 km of new and improved routes in the city since 2005. The English Regions Cycle Demonstration Team also ranks Devon as second only to York City Council for its work in supporting cycling.

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