A new project will see cycling links between the Plym Valley Trail and Saltram Park improved to create a traffic-free route between Plymouth city centre and Dartmoor. Plymouth City Council has been awarded £242,000 to complete the work, reports the Plymouth Herald.
Two new cycle crossings will be created on Coypool Road, while the pavement on the slip road to Plymouth Road will be widened to allow cyclists, as will the pathway opposite the Coypool park and ride. The aim is to ensure safe access to Saltram and the Plym Valley as well as to Dartmoor via National Cycle Network Route 27.
Deputy council leader Peter Smith said: "This link will improve access to and from the popular Plym Valley Trail, which is enjoyed by more than 300,000 people annually, as well as add to Plymouth's expanding walking and cycling network. We're pleased to be able to work with Devon County Council on the delivery of these important works."
The funding is part of a larger award to Devon County Council’s ‘Granite and Gears’ project. The Torquay Herald Express reports that the council has been given £675,000 from the Department for Transport to develop a network of multi-use trails to improve access to Dartmoor.
Other schemes in the offing include the creation of family-friendly routes in Fingle Woods following the River Teign; route extensions from Princetown with improvements on old railway trails; and improved access to Stover Country Park.
The council has reported that the route from Newton Abbot to Kingsteignton saw a 19 per cent annual increase in cyclists last year, while the Exeter Canal path saw a 22 per cent increase compared to 2013.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for cycling, commented:
“These figures demonstrate that cycling in Devon is continuing to grow, with more and more people using the trails on some of the county’s most scenic routes. Because we are a cycling county, we’re fortunate to have a growing network of trails, which is helping more people to be active, either in their leisure time or on their journey to work or school.
“It’s also encouraging that our cycling projects are continuing to attract more external funding, such as Granite and Gears and Dawlish. It’s further evidence that Government recognises the work that we are putting in to improve sustainable transport links, and getting schemes ‘shovel-ready’ reaps its rewards.”