People-power kickstarts Ottery cyclepath bid

PUBLISHED: 12:42 25 November 2008 | UPDATED: 11:43 17 June 2010

A FLURRY of letters and e-mails from Ottery residents and groups to Devon county and district councils has kick-started talks over the town s long-awaited cyclepath and footbridge.

A FLURRY of letters and e-mails from Ottery residents and groups to Devon county and district councils has kick-started talks over the town's long-awaited cyclepath and footbridge.

The path, which would span from the Tumbling Wier to The King's School, has been plagued by delays.

Councillor Roger Giles thanked all those who have written and said discussions have taken place between the chief executives of both DCC and EDDC, and the Environment Agency over who should lead the project.

He added: "I hope that as a result of those discussions, there will be constructive partnership working between DCC, EDDC and the EA- the three principal authorities, which unfortunately, there had not been of late."

"I am sure that the volume of messages from Ottery was very helpful in concentrating minds at the highest level to work together, rather than against each other, for the benefit of the town."

Phil Norrey, Devon County Council's chief executive, said: "I have received many emails about the Connect 2 project for a cycle path in Ottery. The bid for this project was initiated by the Environment Agency and supported by East Devon District Council. The County Council agreed that it would adopt the path when completed which means that it would take on responsibility for repairs and maintenance from that point.

Mr Norrey said costs of the scheme currently exceed available funding and all involved agencies will meet shortly to discuss more affordable options.

Current plans involve a 120metre single span bridge which bumped up costs. Other solutions will now be looked at.

Mr Norrey added: "In the current circumstances I am sure you will appreciate that any design must have flood risk minimisation as the overriding consideration.

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