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Exeter prepares for 'fast' and 'slow' cycle routes for commutes

Public consultation showed some wanted quiet roads - and some wanted speed... so they'll create both...

Exeter is set to benefit from two new multi-use cycle paths linking the city centre with schools, universities and jobs, and completing the Exe Estuary Trail.

Devon County Council has approved the plans to create two routes linking Redhayes Bridge, which crosses the M5 near Junction 29, to the city centre.

One will connect cyclists quickly into town from Pinhoe, Monkerton and Cranbrook, while the other will connect Eastern Exeter to the centre, while linking into schools in Heavitree and Whipton.

The council says there will be ‘high-quality segregation between pedestrians and cyclists’.

A public consultation last year showed major support for the scheme, with quieter, safer routes requested by many.

Others however just wanted fast, direct commutes, leading to a two-path approach with a primary and secondary route.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council's cabinet member for highways with responsibility for cycling, said: "Next week is National Bike Week and with Devon once again hosting the Tour of Britain this year more people than ever before are cycling.

"At the last Census Exeter was ranked in the top 10 cities for cycling to work, with a 57% increase

"Cycling is not only increasingly being seen as an attractive leisure activity which is good for your health but as a good way of beating congestion, reducing petrol costs and helping the environment.

"Improvements to cycling infrastructure across the city will help enhance this trend allowing better access to the city centre for shopping, improved access to education and encouraging more leisure trips.

"This is not just about catering for cyclists; it will also improve conditions for pedestrians and people with disabilities."

James Barnfield, local architect and member of the Exeter Cycling Campaign, said: "It's important to recognise that this investment will benefit the whole city and all who visit. It's a limited but important step to reducing the pollution, congestion and health challenges that the city faces. This will make Exeter a better place for all of us to live in".


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

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