Exe Estuary Trail wins regional industry planning award

Cyclists on the Exe Estuary TrailCyclists on the Exe Estuary Trail

Posted on: 7 July 2015

The Exe Estuary Trail is the overall winner of the Royal Town and Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards (South West ) for 2015!

The trail was announced as a finalist in the category of ‘Excellence in Planning to Deliver Infrastructure’ category earlier in the year and a national finalist.

The award winning RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence highlight exceptional examples of planning and celebrate the contribution that planners and planning make to society.

The £17M Exe Estuary Trail is a cycle and walking route that extends over 16 miles set within the backdrop of the Exe Estuary, on Devon’s south coast. It is a largely off road facility linking Exeter Quay, at the heart of the city and the head of the Exe Estuary, to the coastal towns of Exmouth and Dawlish.

Bridge Opening Team Exe Estuary

Bridge Opening Team Exe Estuary

In the most part, the route runs parallel to the estuary side railway lines allowing public access to the environment and wildlife and is designed for both leisure and commuter use.
Along the trail there is a network of automatic cycle counters which record every cycle trip on the route. Comparison data from 2011/2014 shows that there has been a 42% increase in usage of the trail over that period from 181,581 to 257,189 cycle trips.

Cabinet member for Highway Management, Councillor Stuart Hughes said: “We always knew the Exe Estuary Trail was something really special and a fantastic asset to the area but to have it recognised by the RTPI is brilliant news. The Trail enables thousands of residents  to have a good connection with the city of Exeter and makes possible commuting by bike.

“We’ve seen an enormous increase in the number of local people and visitors travelling by bike with data showing that around 30% of trips are made during commuter periods. Not to mention the economic benefit it has brought to the numerous businesses that have been set up. It’s excellent news all round!” Councillor Stuart Hughes

Cabinet Member for Economy and and local member for St Loyes & Topsham, Councillor Andrew Leadbetter said; “This is welcome news and and a well deserved award for all the team invloved. It’s been a long time in the making but all the effort has been well worth it. As well as bringing great economic benefits, I am extremely pleased to see such an excellent resource right on the doorstep for residents in Topsham.”

The judges were impressed with the Exe Estuary case study in ‘promoting walking and cycling within a sensitive environment’

The Council will receive the RTPI SW Planning Excellence Trophy and a metal plaque.

For more information, about the awards, please go to the RTPI website and for more about the Exe Estuary Trail, go here

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