Funding found for important link in Ottery

PUBLISHED: 13:00 22 January 2009 | UPDATED: 12:19 17 June 2010

DEVON County Council is providing £101,500 to make sure that plans for a walking and cycle link in Ottery St Mary can go ahead.

DEVON County Council is providing £101,500 to make sure that plans for a walking and cycle link in Ottery St Mary can go ahead.

The plan to construct a bridge over the River Otter near the Tumbling Weir in Ottery St Mary has been led by East Devon District Council with the support of the Environment Agency. The project aims to create a safe, traffic free pathway from the town centre to Ottery Hospital and The King's School.

The scheme was among those included in the successful Sustrans Connect 2 bid for Big Lottery Funding, and has received a grant from the Cycling England Links to Schools. Devon County Council has now also agreed to cover part of the remaining shortfall by matching the £101,500 from East Devon.

Devon County Council has consistently expressed support for the Ottery St Mary scheme, and it has always confirmed that upon completion that the County Council would adopt and maintain all of the infrastructure, including the bridge and cycle ways.

Devon County Council Leader Brian Greenslade said: "Devon County Council has agreed to step in to make up part of the shortfall by matching East Devon District Council's funding for this scheme. While we have always been supportive of this scheme, we have also been concerned that there were insufficient funds within the bid to complete the scheme but we are willing to help this worthy project."

Councillor Margaret Rogers, Devon County Council Executive Member for Environment, said: "As a council committed to the development and support of cycling schemes across Devon and to supporting our local communities through investment we are happy to help meet part of East Devon's shortfall in funds to ensure this scheme continues to progress."

The County Council has many other priorities in East Devon and around the County but, as a prudent Council, it has managed to find resources for the Ottery scheme.

Councillor Roger Giles, Devon County Councillor for Ottery St Mary Rural, said: "This project is vitally important and a good deal of work has been invested to date. The scheme will help reduce the access traffic to the school and will benefit the whole community.

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