Cyclists look towards a brighter future in the Newton Abbot region

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By TheGreenMan | Monday, January 07, 2013, 17:18

CYCLISTS ARE looking towards a brighter future in the Newton Abbot region. New cycle routes being wheeled out soon include the Connect2 bridge at Town Quay, Newton Abbot. There's also a possible route along the Teign Estuary to Teignmouth and works to link the Exe Estuary Trail into the centre of Dawlish…

News of the new routes for cyclists came a few weeks ago, during the second Teinbridge Cycling Forum, organised by Teignbridge District Council.

Held at Old Forde House, Newton Abbot in early December, the Forum featured presentations and talks from those involved in cycling, with the focus firmly on the future, hosting events and giving residents better access to routes and two-wheel based activities.

The Forum was given updates on plans for new cycle routes in the area, including the new Connect2 bridge at Town Quay, Newton Abbot – which it's hoped will be open this spring – a proposed route along the Teign Estuary to Teignmouth, a link between Bovey Tracey and Kingsteignton, a cycling infrastructure that will form part of the under-construction South Devon Link Road and works to link the Exe Estuary Trail into the centre of Dawlish.

Sections of the Wray Valley and Exe Estuary routes have recently opened and there are more plans afoot for providing children with more access to cycling events and activities.

Tour of Britain

Teignbridge District Council Leader Cllr Jeremy Christophers hosted the Forum. He updated attendees on the vision for cycling in Teignbridge and looked back on highlights in the last 12 months, including the successful Tour of Britain which passed through the county in September.

"Cycling continues to be a growing sport for Teignbridge and Devon," said Cllr Christophers. "The knock-on effects for business and tourism are great, and this is something we want to build on in the future. What's crucial to the success of that is the input from local organisations and cycling groups.

"Cycling is an important part of our future plans for growth and how we provide that infrastructure is an increasingly important factor – whether it be through planning agreements or levies – so forum's like this are a great opportunity for people to tell us where they want to see cycle paths, facilities or events and how we can set about achieving that."

Newton Abbot's Connect2 Bridge

Guests and speakers at the event included Devon County Council's Sustainable Travel Officer Zsolt Schuller, Peter Grainger from cycling charity Sustrans, Teignbridge District Council's Green Infrastructure Co-ordinator Jonny Miller and Andrew Parker from British Cycling.

Peter Grainger, Area Manager for the charity Sustrans, said: "We help focus funding on where people tell us they want things – the Connect2 Bridge in Newton Abbot is a prime example of that because the public voted for it to be part of a Lottery-funding bid.

"There is even more pressure from communities who want to be part of the bigger picture and the Forum is a really good place to identify opportunities, come up with local events and talk about future plans."

Constructive discussions

Zsolt Schuller, Devon County Council's Sustainable Travel Officer, said: "It's fantastic to see Devon and Teignbridge councils working together with local groups to help drive forward plans for cycling. The discussions have been constructive and we are pleased people came along to tell us what they think about the work we have done and what is to come. The Forum is a great opportunity to share ideas and think about how we can improve what we offer in the future."

Significant increase

Andrew Parker, British Cycling's Regional Events Officer for the South West, gave an update on the cycle events that already take place in Teignbridge. including the Dartmoor Classic Sportive, organised by Mid Devon Cycling Club. He also thanked Teignbridge District Council for their support over the last year:

"By working together there has been a significant increase in participation in cycle events," he said, "with new riders inspired by the results of British riders in the Olympics, the Tour of Britain and the Tour de France.

"The Forum gave me the opportunity to present to Councillors, cycling user groups and interested members of the local community on the opportunities to compete in the locality.

"In particular British Cycling is interested in working with Town and Parish Councils in Teignbridge to bring cycle racing into the public eye. We have already had great success linking cycling events with festivals and carnivals across the region."

Any communities that wish to get involved in hosting cycling events can contact Andrew Parker on 07940 302224, or email: andrewparker@britishcycling.org.uk.

To find out more about the Teignbridge Cycling Forum, contact Jonny Miller at Teignbridge District Council on 01626 215 755, or email: jonny.miller@teignbridge.gov.uk

      

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