Major plan for eight mile route near Exeter

A public consultation has been launched over plans to create a new eight-mile scenic trail between Topsham and West Clyst. The route through parkland and river valleys will be accessible for walkers, cyclists, mobility scooters and, where feasible, horse riders.

Anita Merritt www.devonlive.com 

More than 40,000 people will be able to benefit from the Clyst Valley Trail which will link Pinhoe in Exeter with the Exe Estuary Trail. It will also connect to 12,000 new homes and businesses near the Exeter and East Devon Enterprise Zone, as well as nearby towns and villages including Clyst St George, Clyst St Mary, Sowton, Clyst Honiton and Cranbrook.

East Devon District Council is currently in the early stages of designing the multi-use route. It will enable people in and around Exeter to enjoy the new Clyst Valley Regional Park and East Devon. The consultation will run until Friday, June 10.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, cabinet member with responsibility for cycling, said: “The Clyst Valley Trail is a high priority route as part of the delivery of Devon County Council’s multiuse trail strategy and this consultation is a good opportunity for people to have their say and help us refine the proposals at this stage. The trail will promote leisure trips to the East of Exeter which will support local tourism, recreation and hospitality businesses.

“It will also encourage sustainable commuter travel, providing health and well-being benefits to local communities and supporting carbon reduction targets.”

The Clyst Valley Trail would be delivered in three sections. The route will be well served by bus with West Clyst, Clyst Honiton, Clyst St Mary and Topsham all having several buses per hour into Exeter. There are also railway stations at Pinhoe, Cranbrook, Digby Sowton and Topsham, which are all within 2km of the trail.

The proposed Clyst Valley Trail route towards the Exe Estuary

The proposed Clyst Valley Trail route towards the Exe Estuary (Image: DCC)

Councillor Geoff Jung, East Devon District Council’s portfolio holder for coast, country and environment, said: “I am really excited to see the plans for the Clyst Valley Trail. As a ‘multiuse’ trail it will benefit everyone: walkers, people with disability, cyclists, families and horse riders too.

“The trail will take people from their front doors into work, places of historic interest, our fabulous countryside and country pubs. So, if you’re young or old, or need the help of an e-bike (like myself!) please support the creation of this new trail and enjoy the benefits it will provide.”

Part of the proposed Clyst Valley Trail from Clyst St Mary to Topsham

Part of the proposed Clyst Valley Trail from Clyst St Mary to Topsham (Image: DCC)

The consultation team will attend a parish council meeting Bishops Clyst (Clyst St Mary and Sowton) on Wednesday, June 1, at 7pm at Clyst St Mary Church. Other meetings have previously taken place.

Following the consultation, the scheme plans will be updated before approval is sought through the county council’s cabinet and East Devon District Council’s strategic planning committees.

To comment on the proposals complete the online consultation survey. Paper copies of the consultation leaflet, maps and survey can be requested by emailing transportplanning@devon.gov.uk or by writing to: Transport Planning, Devon County Council, Matford Offices, County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 4QD.