Council cabinet is expected to approve 900m, two-way kerbed route at meeting next week

Devon County Council’s cabinet is expected to give the go-ahead next week to Exeter’s first protected cycle lane.

Running for almost a kilometre from Pinhoe into the city centre along Pinhoe Road and Cumberland Way, a 50-centimetre kerb would separate cyclists from motor vehicles.

The scheme will cost £1.7 million and was approved in principle by the cabinet in June last year.

In a report published on the county council’s website ahead of a meeting next Wednesday, its head of planning, transportation and environment has recommended the cabinet to formally adopt the scheme. 

According to the 2011 Census, 6 per cent of the city’s residents use a bike as their main mode of transport to and from work, well above the national average.

The county council wants to double that to 12 per cent by 2021, with this route – the first of several proposed to provide links between where Exeter residents live and their workplaces – a key part of that strategy.

“Exeter is building a good reputation for cycling, which is increasingly seen as an attractive leisure activity and a viable alternative to car travel,” the report said.

“High quality routes which provide links between growing residential areas and new and existing employment sites will help to meet this target, and allow better access to the city centre for employment, retail, improved access to education, and encourage more leisure trips,” it added.

The proposed two-way route would be between 2.5 and 3 metres in width, with a wide footway for pedestrians running alongside although space will be shared between people on bikes and on foot for certain short sections.

Other than at Pilton Way, which the council says may be closed to through motor traffic at some point in the future, pedestrians and cyclists will have priority at all side roads.

The separated path will also link to existing and proposed shared-use paths at each end as well as at various points in between.

Work is anticipated to start next month, with the project expected to take up to nine months to complete.

Caspar Hughes, who lives in the city and is a member of the organising group of campaigners Stop Killing Cyclists, told road.cc: “It’s wonderful to see another UK city planning to build a network of protected cycle lanes.

“This is a proven way to reduce congestion, pollution and will make Exeter a more attractive city to visit and live in,” he added.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.