Riverside route could be revisited for Sidford-Sidbury link

A riverside route for the cycle path would avoid the proposed business park site

A riverside route for the cycle path would avoid the proposed business park site - Credit: Archant

Highways chiefs will do ‘everything they can’ to bring a cycleway and footpath between Sidford and Sidbury to fruition – including potentially revisiting a riverside route.

Devon County Council (DCC) withdrew its plans to develop the link – at the request of a landowner – when an application was made to build a 9.3-acre business park with a provision for walkers and cyclists.

Permission was refused last week, and Councillor Stuart Hughes said the future of the 20-year project to deliver a safe route is now up in the air.

“This is all so frustrating as we now have to wait and see what happens next,” he told the Herald. “The business park applicant may well choose to appeal the decision to refuse the application. This could take up to six months. They may choose to submit another application and so I see nothing happening on the cycleway and footpath front for some considerable time.”

Cllr Hughes said talks between DCC, the landowner and his agent could not continue until the fate of the business park was decided.

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But he added: “We originally looked at two routes to Sidbury. The preferred one, chosen by the residents of Sidbury, Sidford and Sidmouth, is the route on the table and plans have been drawn up for it.

“The other is the riverside route, which perhaps it may be worthwhile taking another look at - if the landowners are still on-side - and that is something I shall be speaking to county officers about.

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“The county council and I are committed to seeing the route between Sidford and Sidbury and will do everything we can to see its fruition.”

Also set to improve safety is Devon’s first tiger crossing - like a wide zebra crossing that cyclists can use without dismounting - across the A3052 in Sidford.

Work will begin on Monday (October 10) and is set to take four weeks.

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