Residents resist motobikes on Sidmouth bridleway


Sidmouth - Credit: Archant

Concerned residents are voicing their concerns about controversial plans to allow motorbikes onto a Sid Valley conservation area.

A meeting set up by Sidmouth in Bloom (SiB) leaders attracted 40 people opposed to a proposal to upgrade a Mutter’s Moor bridleway to allow ‘all traffic’, writes Stephen Sumner.

Present were members of the chamber of commerce, the Sid Vale Association and the Methodist church, which hosted the discussion on Monday evening.

Also there was a representative of the Trail Riders Fellowship (TRF), which submitted the application for consideration as part of Devon County Council’s (DCC) definitive map review for Sidmouth.

“People are much clearer on what is happening and will be prepared to make any future objections,” said SiB chairman Lynette Talbot.

“The TRF spokesman put forward his views, but obviously represented a smaller population of people than Sidmouth’s.”

She said the TRF could not guarantee that riders would stick to the track or speed recommendations if the plans for the now-tranquil walking route were approved.

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Mutter’s Moor, which received praise from international judges in this year’s Communities in Bloom competition, is home to rare birds.

DCC is legally obliged to consider the application, which was made to upgrade the bridleway into a byway to allow all traffic in 2005.

Lynette said she has witnessed firsthand illegal riding in the area, when she reported the culprits to the police, and suggests others do likewise.

Landowner Clinton Devon Estates last week expressed opposition to the plans, along with the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that covers the site.

The consultation on the proposals ends today (Friday).