Community celebration to mark bridge opening

Bridge at A38 HeathfieldBridge at A38 Heathfield

Posted on: 8 July 2015

A community celebration will be held on Saturday 18 July to mark the opening of the new bridge over the A38 at Heathfield and the Stover Way multi-use trail.

The route, which has been developed over the past nine months, links Bovey Tracey to Jetty Marsh Road in Newton Abbot, crossing over the A38 at Heathfield and running alongside the Stover Canal.

Members of the public are welcome to attend the event, which starts with speeches and presentations at 11:30am at Stover Country Park Visitor Centre. There will be a brief walk or cycle through the park to the bridge for the official opening, which will be conducted by Devon County Council Chairman Christine Channon, at 12:30pm.

The opening of the bridge and Stover Way is a major new addition to Devon’s growing network of multi-use trails. It is the culmination of the Granite and Gears project, led by the County Council and Dartmoor National Park, which is providing a £7 million investment in cycling to open up access to Dartmoor.

The project has also funded improvements to Drake’s Trail, the cycleway from Tavistock to Plymouth, as well as a new bridge at Peekhill on the disused railway route to Princetown and a series of small improvements around Dartmoor. Devon’s cycle network was also boosted last year with the opening of the Powderham Bridge which completed the landmark 16-mile Exe Estuary Trail. This route was the overall South West regional winner at the recent Royal Town and Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards (South West) 2015.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for cycling, said: “I hope as many people as possible from the local community can join us for this special occasion, which will celebrate why Devon is a cycling county. This bridge is a central part of the Granite and Gears project, providing a safe crossing over the A38 to link local communities and improve access to Dartmoor. I’m sure it will become a popular route. The landowners, Sibelco and Imerys, must be thanked for helping make this scheme possible by enabling this bridge to be constructed on their land.”

Councillor George Gribble, Devon County Councillor for Bovey Tracey, said: “I’m overjoyed that this bridge is opening. It provides an important facility for local people but will also bring visitors into our local communities of Bovey Tracey and Moretonhampstead. Providing this link between Newton Abbot and Moretonhampstead is great for families looking to cycle off road with their children.”

Councillor Jeremy Christophers, Leader of Teignbridge District Council, said: “Teignbridge Council has supported Devon County Council in the development of mile after mile of cycle way either side of the A38 expressway. The provision of this bridge linking the network through the heart of the district has been a long-term ambition of the cycling community. We are delighted to complete our promise to them by achieving safe passage across this dangerous road. We will continue our work to deliver cycling opportunities across our entire district.”

Peter Harper, Chairman Dartmoor National Park Authority, said: “We are delighted that the Granite and Gears project is continuing to provide improvements to access and cycling on Dartmoor. This new bridge will open up a great new route, providing fantastic, safe access to Dartmoor.”

The bridge, which has been fabricated by Nusteel Ltd and constructed by contractor South West Highways (SWH Ltd), has been designed for equestrian use as well as pedestrians and cyclists. The structure will now be adopted by Highways England.

Highways England Growth and Improvement team Leader, Alexis Field, said, “The crossing will provide an important link in the Devon cycle network and will be of great benefit to the local community. We are delighted to be adopting the structure.”

The Granite and Gears project was awarded £4.4 million funding from The Department for Transport’s (DfT) Cycling Ambition fund in August 2013 to develop a network of multi-use trails accessing the moor. The aim of the project is to encourage a 43% increase in cycling on Dartmoor by 2018, bringing an extra £6 million to the local economy and creating the potential for around 100 new jobs.

The project is also supported with an additional £3 million from Local Transport Plan funding, section 106 money and contributions from Devon County Council, Dartmoor National Park, Teignbridge District Council and West Devon Borough Council.

For anyone attending the opening event, parking is available at Stover Country Park, situated off the A382 Newton Abbot to Bovey Tracey road, just south of the A38 Drumbridges roundabout. The car park is pay & display (including for disabled visitors). Alternatively, bus stops are located on the A382 and at Drumbridges Roundabout.

8 comments on “Community celebration to mark bridge opening

  1. Frank Thomas says:

    It’s 29/08/20015 , I am itching to get my bike on this new facility but still no maps or info , eg if I start from jetty marsh road where on the road is the start?
    And where can I park and is parking free or is there pay and display , I live in Paignton and don’t know that bit of Newton Abbot that well and don’t want to wast my time on a dummy run as I just want to make sure when I get there i know where I’m going !

    • Hi Frank. Thanks for this. You should have had a response directly now, but for anyone else wondering the same thing….We will soon be publishing an updated version of the Newton Abbot cycle map which will be available on http://www.cycledevon.info. This will feature a route map of the new Stover Trail. Access on to the trail is off the roundabout on Jetty Marsh Road (next to Newton Abbot Hospital). If approaching from Exeter Road, take the second exit and there is a left turn on to the Trail. The nearest public car park is at the Cricketfield. Hope that helps!

      We will release the new map on to our website () and via our Facebook and Twitter pages. So please do follow us on these if you can.

  2. Chris Allen says:

    Where can I find any actually useful info about the stover trail, I’m really keen to take my family on a cycle ride in newton / bovey rather than driving to the e e trail etc, but I cannot find any sort of map that suggests start points,gives distances , facilities or even explains what sections of the route are traffic free and suitable for children ?
    Lots of waffle about what a great job everyone concerned has done but nothing about how to use the trail !

    • Hi Chris. There’s not one yet I’m afraid, but there is a cycle map in progress. It’ll be part of a Newton Abbot cycling map. However, that doesn’t stop you picking up the trail, either at Jetty Marsh Road in Newton Abbot, or park at Stover Country Park and pick it up at that end. Thanks.

  3. Phil Craven says:

    This lane is an accident waiting to happen, even with a HGV ban in place. It will not stop the rat runners in their cars and light commercial vehicles. The volume of these rat runners has nearly doubled since the works at Drumbridges started. They will continue once the works have finished. Clear run on twisty country lane as against traffic lights. I walk this lane everyday with my dog (I live just off it in Haytor View) and have had so many near misses I have lost count.To Devon newscentre, you don’t live here, you don’t know. Try coming and speaking to the locals or will that spoil your ivory tower image?

  4. Roz Paisey says:

    Thank you so much the Stover Way with bridge over A 38 has been a great boost to be able to escape from Newton Abbot on our bikes or on foot on a traffic free route after so many months of having all exits and entrances to the town logged jammed with extensive road works that have ignored the needs of pedestrians and cyclists.
    BUT where is the publicity and information to let people know? Even after reading about it in local paper we couldn’t find the start of the route and none of the tourist information offices or cycle shops have any knowledge or information. COME ON this is a fantastic opportunity to get more people out of their cars and cycling but here we are the summer is over the kids are back at school, tourist season is for families is over. What and opportunity missed! We need maps, information, signs & publicity now!

    • Michael Barron says:

      The reason Devon County Council are keeping quiet about the bit of lane between the bridge and the cycle way at Accommodation lane is because they did not designate it correctly as a quiet lane and have removed all the signs to alert motorists to expect cyclists and pedestrians, So use it at your peril and be aware of HGV’s and other vehicles.

    • The signs have been removed, but it doesn’t mean the road is not suitable for cyclists and pedestrians. We are in the process of preparing a TRO to ban HGVs from the top section of the Lane. A decision will then be made as to whether we go through the process to officially designate it as a quiet lane.

Posted in: Business and Economy | DCC Homepage | Environment