Councillors have approved plans which set out priorities for developing cycling and walking improvements in a number of areas of the county.
Cabinet has backed the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs) which outline cycling and walking improvements for Exeter, Teignbridge, and Barnstaple, Bideford and Northam over the next 10 to 20 years.
LCWIPs put us in the strongest possible position for bidding for Government funding for walking and cycle schemes, as well as leveraging external grants and for negotiations with developers.
While supporting increased walking and cycling levels across Devon, the plans also support the County Council’s response to the climate crisis, improve health and wellbeing, access for all, as well as delivering economic benefits in the county.
Schemes have been prioritised based on where the greatest impact can be made in increasing the number of people who choose to walk or cycle. Factors taken into account include whether an alternative route exists nearby, how the links serve key journey types such as travel to school, work and for leisure, and where the potential is greatest to attract developer funding due to planned growth in these areas.
The plan for Teignbridge, covering Newton Abbot, Kingsteignton and Kingskerswell, sets out walking and cycling proposals along five key corridors. In Barnstaple, Bideford, and Northam, the plan identifies four walking and six cycling proposals to complete missing gaps and develop a comprehensive active travel network.
The plan for Exeter includes filling missing sections of 20 cycle routes and five city centre walking routes. They include traffic-free cycle routes, advisory cycle routes on quiet roads, as well as junction and pavement improvements to make it easier for people to take up active travel around Exeter.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “I’m pleased to see a review has been completed of the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans for the Heart of Teignbridge, Barnstaple with Bideford and Northam, and Exeter. These plans remain ambitious, setting out priorities for investment in the next 10 to 20 years.
“The delivery of these will bring a range of benefits to Devon, including supporting health, wellbeing and access for all, helping areas accommodate local housing and employment growth and economic benefits. By approving these plans, it will enable the County Council to be in the strongest position to take advantage of future funding opportunities and deliver schemes with maximum impact.
“As well as welcoming these plans, I look forward to the emerging LCWIPs including the countywide rural trails and the growth areas of East Devon and Mid Devon.”
The LCWIPs have been endorsed by the relevant Highways and Traffic Order Committees.
While these plans include ambitions to deliver proposals, their inclusion does not guarantee this will be achieved. Schemes still need to undergo detailed design, public consultation, securing any necessary third-party land and formal approval for construction once funding has been secured.