Devon County Council want your views on plans for a new Sidford – Sidbury multi-use trail

Devon County Council are asking local people to tell them what they think of their plans for a new multi-use trail linking Sidford to Hillside, Sidbury in East Devon.

From November 23 to January 5, members of the public can view the draft scheme and provide feedback through a short survey before formal planning permission is sought.

The proposals are for a multi-use trail, approximately half a mile in length, from the north side of the village of Sidford along the western side of the A375 (Two Bridges Road) connecting to Hillside, Sidbury.

Starting on land adjacent to the Waste Water Treatment Plant on the east of Two Bridges Road, the trail would cross the A375 via a new Toucan controlled signal-controlled crossing and run along the western side of the A375 in a northerly direction.

It would cross Ottery Lane via a new cycle/walking pedestrian priority crossing and through the existing agricultural land, eventually connecting into Hillside.

Their plan is Phase 1 of the route, with developers providing Phase 2 between Hillside and Sidbury as part of their development.

These proposals follow a previous planning application for a cycle scheme from Sidford to Sidbury which ran along the eastern side of the A375.

However, we decided to withdraw that planning application because of engineering challenges, expected higher costs and concerns that the distance from the main road might reduce the perception of personal safety, particularly when dark.  

Additionally, the eastern route would have required agreements with multiple landowners, whereas the western route requires permission from one landowner.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, the local county councillor for Sidmouth and Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said:

“These plans for a multi-use trail at this location is very welcome news and is something that I have advocated for a number of years and would extend the current ‘Byes’ multi use trail between Sidmouth and Sidford.

“It will provide walkers and cyclists, who at present have to use the busy A375, with a safe alternative route while proposals for a new toucan crossing will provide people with a safe place to cross and will slow down vehicles approaching Sidford.

“Sidbury residents will have a safe route to Sidford, Sidmouth and the Community College, and it will also encourage more people to choose active travel for short local journeys which will benefit their health and the environment.

“These proposals aren’t set in stone, and we want to hear what local people think and any suggestions before we apply for planning permission.”

Alternatively, please send any responses to transportplanning@devon.gov.uk

All correspondence should quote the scheme name: Sidbury Walking and Cycling Scheme

An overview of the proposals will be presented at an online consultation event, on Monday December 4, 5.30 – 6.30 PM.

Please email transportplanning@devon.gov.uk to request an invite to the event.

We anticipate that the formal planning application will be submitted in Spring 2024.

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