Posted: 13.11.21 at 10:34 by Joe Ives, Local Democracy Reporter
A strategy for a long-awaited pedestrian and cycle path connecting Sidbury and Sidford has been agreed by Devon County Council (DCC).
It’s hoped the new route will make residents safer while encouraging active travel.
The path, which will run along 2.5 kilometres of the western side of the main A375 Sidford to Honiton Road, has taken a circuitous route to get to this stage, being more than seven years since a public consultation to discuss route options. With a final strategy now approved by East Devon Highways and Traffic Orders Committee (HATOC), councillors and officers hope it is now in the final stretch.
The path will extend the existing trail from Sidmouth via the Byes to Sidford and will be delivered in two phases. Phase one will connect the new business park planned at Two Bridges, cover the A375 via a new crossing, and continue north to the west of the road. Further details will be worked out by planners.
The second phase will extend the path into the centre of Sidbury connecting north from Hillside towards Furzehill and removing the need to travel 500 metres along Chapel Street (A375) to Fore Street. This section will need planning permission.
Following the decision of HATOC officers will now work on planning applications and land acquisitions for the first phase.
Councillor Stuart Hughes (Conservative, Sidmouth), cabinet member for highway management, said: “It’s really exciting. People say all good things come to those who wait and it's taken quite a time.
“I think what we’ve got here is a great scheme. It’s going to provide a safe link between Sidford and Sidbury and vice versa.
“It’s a good news story and I think the people of Sidbury and Sidford will welcome it.”
Cllr Hughes wants to see if a parallel crossing, which is similar to a zebra crossing, for the path at the A375 could be upgraded to a toucan crossing controlled by traffic lights.
Councillor Phil Twiss (Conservative, Feniton & Honiton) said: “It’s great to see DCC bringing this forward. It’s good for health and wellbeing. It’s good for carbon reduction and also it’ll be really good for Sidbury economically.”
The path was approved unanimously by councillors.
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