A cycling renaissance is under way in Teignbridge with new cycle routes, encouragement schemes and club activities helping more people to get on their bikes locally.
At its latest quarterly meeting, the Teignbridge Cycle Group updated its progress for representatives from Teignbridge District Council, Devon County Council, Sustrans, local cycling clubs, and other organisations.
The meeting took place in the afterglow of the Tour of Britain which visited Teignbridge for its third consecutive year.
The aim of the Group is to work together to make real progress on projects that promote cycling in Teignbridge.
Among other successes this has led to a proposed network of new cycle routes being included in Teignbridge’s emerging Local Plan and drawing on County Council funding to install new cycle parking facilities in Newton Abbot.
With work getting under way on a new cycle bridge over Newton Abbot Town Quay, part of a major new cycle link between Newton Abbot and Kingsteignton, the Group has released an update on all its local cycle route projects.
Kingsteignton to Newton Abbot – Connect2 Cycle Route
The completion of a new cycle and pedestrian route from Kingsteignton to Newton Abbot and a bespoke pedestrian/cycle bridge over Newton Abbot’s Town Quay is scheduled for an official opening in Spring 2013.
This project was made possible by Devon County Council funding with a successful bid by Sustrans to Big Lottery Funding. Local authorities including Teignbridge helped in the planning, design and delivery of the new route.
Teign Estuary Trail
Plans to link Newton Abbot to Teignmouth are making good progress, and it’s hoped that work will get underway in 2013. The scheme is part of Teignbridge’s proposed Local Plan, the final draft of which was approved by Teignbridge’s Full Council on Friday 21 September.
Bovey Tracey – Newton Abbot
County Council engineers are investigating a route to link Bovey Tracey with Newton Abbot including connections to the Templer Way and Teign Estuary Trail, creating a walking and cycling route between Dartmoor and the sea.
Cllr George Gribble, Teignbridge District Council’s Executive Spokesperson for Communities, Recreation and Leisure said: “The Teignbridge Cycle Group is helping the district make great strides in providing more and better cycling facilities around the district.
"The Tour of Britain helped highlight what a truly amazing area this is for cycling, and I’m very pleased that we’re making real progress on these key routes.”
Cllr Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation added: “We’re very pleased to be working with partners to deliver new cycle routes in Teignbridge.
“It’s helping the district to encourage greener, healthier transport, and I hope that they’ll help build on the inspirational successes at the British Olympics and Tour of Britain.
“With councils taking on responsibility for public health, now is a perfect time to be providing these routes and making a healthy lifestyle easier.”
Peter Grainger, Sustrans’ Area Manager for Devon and Torbay and Chairman of the Teignbridge Cycle Group added: “The Teignbridge Cycle Group is a particularly effective way of making progress on cycling issues, and we’re very pleased to have the opportunity to work directly with the councils, local clubs and other organisations which have a stake in cycling.
“It makes it much easier to take projects forward, and it will be local residents and visitors who will see the benefit. There is a bright future for cycling in Teignbridge, and from next spring we’ll start to see new cycle routes up and running, starting with the much needed link from Kingsteignton to Newton Abbot.”
While work continues on cycle routes, various schemes and events are continuing to put pedal power within people’s reach including the Bikeability training by Devon County Council. The district’s Cycling and Walking Works partnership scheme continues to offer free cycle confidence training, local route planning and the chance to meet new people.
In addition, Teignbridge’s Street Sweeping Team is piloting a scheme to clean stretches of road that are reported to have thorny hedge trimmings causing punctures. Contact Customer Services on 01626 361 101 to report specific sections of road for cleaning.
Meanwhile Mid Devon Cycling Club, which sits on the Teignbridge Cycle Group and is credited with introducing Tour Of Britain champion Jonathan Tiernan-Locke to road racing, is holding special ‘Cyclocross’ events to encourage youngsters to cycle.
Cyclocross racing is fast, fun and traffic-free, giving entrants the chance to race others in their age group around a set track in fast small laps. Sessions costing just £1 per entrant are being held for youngsters aged 16 and under, from 9am on the mornings of Sunday 7 October and Sunday 4 November, the first at Stover School and the second at South Dartmoor Community College in Ashburton.
The events are part of British Cycling’s ‘Go Ride’ scheme, supported by Sky.
Anyone who needs a little confidence boost or would like to meet a local ‘bike buddy’ to plan routes and cycle with, can visit www.teignbridge.gov.uk/cyclingandwalkingworks, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01626 215603 / 215594. The scheme is also open to businesses which want to help staff commute by bike.
Teignbridge District Council photos and a video from the day the Tour of Britain visited the district are online at www.teignbridge.gov.uk. Visit www.cycledevon.info for lots of cycling information.