Thousands of cyclists have made trips across a new linking bridge in Devon, prompting planners to deem it a huge success.
The Town Quay Bridge linking Newton Abbot and Kingsteignton opened last month and has already been cycled over 3000 times, with 1,300 of those in the first week.
The bridge is the centre piece of the new £3 million Teign Estuary Trail, which was funded to the tune of £500,000 by Sustrans, as part of the charity’s Connect 2 project to create new cycling and walking links across the UK with funding from the Big Lottery. The route will eventually link up with other strands of the National Cycle Network.
Councillor Brook told Devon News Centre: “Local businesses can benefit from this new trail, not only because it will help tackle congestion, but because it will also attract visitors to the area. People travelling between Newton Abbot and Kingsteignton now have a safe, traffic-free option to cycle or walk between the two communities. Hopefully more and more people will use this route, not just for commuting or travelling to school, but also in their leisure time.”
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said: “The amount of people using the trail and bridge speaks volumes and it has already highlighted its value to the local community. For anyone living in Kingsteignton, it is now much quicker and healthier to use a bike rather than a car to reach Brunel Industrial Estate or the railway station. This is another impressive addition to Devon’s growing network of routes which demonstrates that we truly are a cycling county.”
The bridge, which cost £1.1 million to design and build, will now be the focus of local cycling campaigns. A public celebration of cycling and walking on the new route is also being planned for Sunday 5 May with a variety of activities, walks and rides on offer.
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.