Help to shape the Exeter cycle network

Posted on: 6 July 2015

A consultation will be held next week on Devon County Council’s plans to improve Exeter’s cycle network.

With some major housing and employment developments underway and others proposed to the east and south of the city, the County Council is planning to improve cycling infrastructure and it wants to hear people’s views on its proposals.

The proposed routes, linking Cranbrook to the city centre and University of Exeter, as well as connecting Newcourt to the city centre, aim to make cycle trips for leisure cyclists and commuters safer, quicker and more appealing.

Three consultation events are planned which will provide an opportunity for people to view the proposed cycle routes and comment on them.

• Tuesday 14 July – 2pm to 8pm – County Hall, Topsham Road entrance (free parking after 4pm);

• Wednesday 15 July – 10am to 8pm – Princesshay Shopping Centre, Bedford Square (near Barclays Bank);

• Thursday 16 July – 2pm to 8pm – Sainsbury’s car park, Pinhoe Road.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for cycling, said: “Cycle links between emerging and proposed developments and major destinations in the city will be key to minimising the impact on the road network in order to provide a sustainable alternative to using the car. We’re keen for as many people as possible to come along to the consultation events and give us their views on the proposals, so that any development meets the local need.

“There has been a 40% increase in daily cycling rates in Exeter since 2005, which suggests that more people are already choosing to leave their car at home and cycle or walk to work, so it’s important that Devon County Council recognises this trend and provide infrastructure to meet demand. Not only will this support economic growth but it will also encourage more people to leave their cars at home, helping them to improve health, fitness and their local environment.”

Anyone unable to attend any of the consultation events can click here from Tuesday 14 July to view the consultation material online and provide feedback.

11 comments on “Help to shape the Exeter cycle network

  1. Mrs Offord says:

    The proposed cycle route will use the rear access of Hanover Road. The fence line at the back looks to used. It will be a hazard for people coming out of they properties.


    My name is Michael Parrott, the Chairman of Friends of Higher Cemetery in Exeter. We read with great shock, disbelief and amazement the article in the Express & Echo revealing plans to build a cycle route through the Higher Cemetery. I am therefore writing to you as you are the Devon County Council cabinet member with responsibility for cycling to strongly urge you to reconsider these plans as a matter of urgency.

    The Higher Cemetery is not an area of recreation, it is a public amenity for the burial of the dead and a place for quietness and reflection. Friends of Higher Cemetery was formed, in conjunction with Exeter City Council, to enable these strengths to be maintained and for peace to reign.
    To build a cycle path 3m wide through the cemetery would result in a lot of graves being dug up. It should be noted that there are burials throughout the cemetery (over 70,000) and there are a large proportion with no gravestones. The area close to Hannover Road is one of these areas, Please note that there are graves in this area.

    The Exeter City Council rules for the cemetery prohibit cycling in the cemetery.
    This rule is stated on the Exeter City Council website:
    Please can you confirm if Exeter City Council have given Devon County Council permission to build a cycle route in the cemetery ?

    Friends of Higher Cemetery are surprised and saddened that we have not been contacted about the plans, instead we are left to read it in the local newspaper. Our website appears on the first page on Google if you search ‘Higher Cemetery Exeter’.

    We are surprised that it is felt that the cycle route cannot be in Hanover Road – this is not a busy road. I have cycled along this road many times and have never encountered it as being busy. In fact your pans show an alternative route for when the cemetery is closed at night. This alternative route is along Hannover Road, the very road that you are trying to avoid in the first place ! Also, cycling at night is more dangerous, especially with the proposed plans to switch off street lights at night.

    What would the cost be to build a 3m wide path through the cemetery ? How can Devon County Council justify themselves when they refuse to pay for urgent repairs to Sidwell Street pavements in the city but at the same time spend money to dig up a cemetery where people are buried and turn it into a recreational ground?

    The cycle route would come very close to the famous Theatre Fire Memorial which is of national significance remembering over 160 people who were killed. The Friends of Higher Cemetery have just received two thousand pounds from DCC Counciillors in the city to clean and restore this Victorian memorial.
    Your department now plans to have a cycle route next to it !

    The exit of the cemetery, by Hannover Road and Ladysmith Road is very tight and narrow and runs straight onto a narrow pavement, pedestrians in Hannover Road are not going to be able to see cyclists coming out of the cemetery.

    To build a cycle route in the cemetery would be an insult to those buried and remembered there, and an even greater insult for the relatives who visit the graves.

    We strongly urge Devon County Council to change their plans urgently and allow the cemetery to remain a cemetery.

    • Thank you for your comment Michael. The cycle route is in the early stages of planning and the initial consultation is to consider options and issues at an early stage before any formal planning process is implemented. Your comments will be taken in to account to inform the planning, should this route proceed to proposal stage.

  3. Joan Heath says:

    I would like to know the cost of the cycle path at Long Park Sidmouth (Exeter Cross). I would also like to know the thinking behind the positioning of this path as it doesn’t connect with anything at either the start or the finish of the path.

    • The total cost of the project is £142,000, with the bulk of the funding coming from Section 106 contributions from developers.

      The route does connect at the eastern end via Lymebourne Lane to the Byes, and is sign posted. There isn’t a formal link at the Woolbrook end yet but it does close the gap to the primary school and misses a very difficult section along Arcot Road. The crossing is of benefit to school children walking as well.

      Extending the route through Woolbrook would be considered if funding was available.

      Longer term, and funding permitted, the path could form part of the route up towards Ottery and Feniton via the old railway line.

      It would also form part of a link to the Park and Change site at Woolbrook if that is provided by a future developer through the Local Plan.

  4. Chris says:

    Will there ever be a route on the a377 I ride daily from lapford to topsham.

    • Hi Chris. Unfortunately there are no plans to create a route from Lapford or along the A377 as there isn’t enough demand.

      You can find out more about our plans for Devon’s cycling network in our Cycling and Mutli-Use Trail Network Strategy (2015) online here –

      There are plans to substantially improve the capacity and quality of the rolling stock on the Tarka Line from 2018 as part of the cascade from the Thames Valley electrification. We will be working with First Great Western to enable as many cycle spaces on that route as possible, which will make taking a bicycle on the train for commuting more feasible. There is then the option of continuing to Topsham by the Exe Estuary cycle route or by train.

    • James says:

      Is “induced demand” modelled when considering examples like the A377? It feels like a dangerous road to cycle on therefore not many cyclists use it. If a sfe route was available then more demand might appear?

    • Thanks for your comment James. We do consider ‘induced’ demand in the sense that we have experience from similar off-road routes. However, there is no specific way to model it as each route is so different.

      The level of demand along the A377 is going to be more limited by the fact that the tourism element would not be as high as on routes such as the Exe Estuary and Tarka Trail, mainly due to the topography. Other routes have generally followed ex railway lines which makes a big difference to the experience.

      We are working with local community groups to help them get some initial sections off the ground themselves, but the Cowley Bridge section is a major challenge and there is currently no obvious answer here.

  5. Lyndsay Cooper says:

    When will the new cycle bridge over the A38 at Drumbridges be open?

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