Almost 90% of people who responded to a recent public consultation on plans for a multiuse path between Sidbury and Sidford have backed the idea.
The proposed walking and cycling route would extend from Sidford along the western side of the A375, crossing Ottery Lane with a new cycle/pedestrian crossing, and then connecting to Hillside, near Sidbury.
The County Council has invested £150,000 of Local Transport Funding this financial year to continue developing plans for the route.
A second phase of the scheme would be needed to continue the path on to Sidbury and this could potentially be provided by developers.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Cabinet Member for Highway Management and County Councillor for Sidmouth, said:
“We’re committed to delivering this scheme and I’m pleased that the response to the public consultation has shown that there is overwhelming support from local people. We want to enable the local community to enjoy active travel between Sidbury and Sidmouth with a safe route away from the busy A375.
“We still have a long way to go with this scheme but if we can make progress with acquiring land and secure planning permission it would put us in a stronger position to apply for future funding opportunities.”
These latest proposals are an alternative to a previous planning application for a cycle route from Sidford to Sidbury on the opposite side of the A375, which was eventually withdrawn.
The County Council needs to hold further discussions with local landowners but it’s hoped that a planning application for the proposed western route can be submitted in May.
The report on the public consultation is available online.