Ottery path bid saved

PUBLISHED: 09:00 17 January 2009 | UPDATED: 12:16 17 June 2010

A CRUNCH time cash pledge threw Ottery s long awaited footbridge and cycle-way project a lifeline on Wednesday.

A "CRUNCH time" cash pledge threw Ottery's long awaited footbridge and cycle-way project a lifeline on Wednesday.

Passionate pleas from town officials and residents saved the stuttering bid, to provide a link from the Tumbling Weir to the Thorne Park estate,from being scrapped by East Devon District Council's Executive Board which instead backed it unanimously.

EEDC will now take control of project and seek £101,500 in funding for it from its capital budget.

Ottery district councillors David Cox and Roger Giles urged board members to keep the bid alive.

Cllr Giles said it was time to "support it or scrap it". He added: "I have been here 13 years and I'm as nervous as I've ever been. This is so important, a huge amount of work has been done over a long time.

"Don't throw away all the hard work we have done. Everybody wants it- please do everything you can to find the money."

It is hoped the route, which would see a new bridge span the River Otter and an adjacent field, would offer hundreds of children who currently walk to The King's School along narrow pavements on the busy Barrack Road safer passage as well as a more convenient link for residents.

Estimated costs of the footbridge stand at around £700,000. Secured cash to date is £317,000, however, potential funding from the Links to Schools fund and development money would push this to more than half a million. If EDDC matches its pledge the bid will need a further £101,500 to becoming a reality.

Ottery town council, which forked out £32,000 for the field at the proposed site and has had £112,000 in development money set aside for the project for more than ten years, was congratulated by EDDC leader Sara Randall Johnson for its "excellent work driving it forward."

Cllr Mike Green added: "They have shown real commitment to the project, I think we should support it."

Cllr Giles told the Herald after the meeting: "This is wonderful news for Ottery. After a long time we can see the finishing line. I hope to see this project delivered in the near future, to the benefit of people going to and from The King's School and the community as a whole."

Headteacher at The King's School Faith Jarrett shared his delight. She said: "Our travel plan encourages children to walk and cycle to the school safely- currently Barrack Road does not offer that.


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