Work starts on latest section of Wray Valley Trail

Cycle trail

Posted on: 16 June 2016

Work starts next week on the latest phase of the Wray Valley Trail linking Moretonhampstead to Bovey Tracey.

The trail, which is being developed by Devon County Council, follows the old Newton Abbot to Moretonhampstead railway line and is designed as a multi-use path to be enjoyed by pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians.

This latest section will see a new 25 metre bridge built to replace the former railway crossing over the A382 at Steward Wood, together with almost 600 metres of off road path. The bridge has been sympathetically designed to reflect the detail of local historic steel railway bridges, and will match the bridge at Budleigh Farm which was erected in 2010.

Plans for the trail were developed following a consultation and a public exhibition in 2003, and were approved by Dartmoor National Park Authority in 2014. The first phase from Pound Lane in Moretonhampstead to Steward Wood opened in early 2011

Work on this latest section is planned to be completed in October this year.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said:

“Work is continuing apace on this scheme, and soon another stage will be open and ready for walkers, cyclists and equestrians to enjoy.

“Set in the spectacular surroundings of Dartmoor National Park, the trail will be a huge attraction and once complete, will offer visitors and locals the opportunity to better explore this part of our county.”

Councillor George GribbleCouncillor George Gribble, local Devon County Councillor for Bovey Tracey, said:

“This is great news. The work will allow families, equestrians, walkers and cyclists to use these off road facilities, eventually linking the moor to the sea. It will give local people and holiday visitors alike off road access to our rural towns and villages and to the seaside.”

15 comments on “Work starts on latest section of Wray Valley Trail

  1. Barry Cross says:

    Thank you for your comprehensive reply

  2. Barry Cross says:

    Further to my question on the 27th Nov. Your answer that you do not know when the the missing link will be finished is difficult to understand. Is there not a plan in place for the whole route with an associated cash flow. I cannot believe that DCC started on this trail without a plan or the alternative is that there is a plan but we the users and the payers are not allowed to see it. The whole work on the trail has been highlighted by the intermittant nature of the work. It seems like 5 years since work first started . A month of work followed by nothing for 9 months or more. When a few yards are openned the Council announce it as if they had built the Forth Bridge when it fact they have just tinkered with the project. I am becoming increasingly disillusioned at the ability of DCC to manage this long awaited trail. I would like this email to be copied too Councillor Gribble

    • The Wray Valley Trail is a long term scheme to provide 11km of mostly off road community trail between Bovey Tracey and Moretonhampstead originally conceived in 2003. To date approximately 6km of the trail has been delivered with the first section south from Moretonhampstead completed in 2010.

      Along with this visible work we have completed a detailed design of the remaining sections of the route, secured and protected the necessary planning permissions and acquired some of the required land. We continue to work on the scheme so as to be able to act as soon as the funding and land required to construct the remaining sections become available.

      As you may appreciate construction of 11km of new trail including multiple new structures is a substantial undertaking and at this time there is not a dedicated cycle infrastructure budget available to local authorities. We have therefore been applying for (and successfully gaining) funding from individual grants. The most recent successful funding bid in 2014/15 delivered the Stover Trail, an extension of the Wray Valley Trail and many other improvements to cycle facilities across Dartmoor.

      We cannot predict what grants/funding will be made available in the future and as a result we cannot give a firm timescale for the remaining sections of the route, however please be reassured that we continue to work towards its completion.

  3. Barry Cross says:

    The middle section through Lustleigh is now the big block in the middle of a marvelous cycle track NA to Mortenhamstead. So much money has been spent already but there is no sign of the big block being removed so all the money spent so far is wasted. To me it is so plain that to bring the whole trial to life so little remains to be done but the inaction makes one cry.

    • Hi Barry. We are glad you are enjoying the Stover Trail route between Newton Abbot & Bovey Tracey and the current extent of the Wray Valley Trail between Bovey Tracey and Lower Knowle Road, Lustleigh.

      We are continuing to work on delivery of the Wray Valley Trail with the aim of providing a traffic free route between Bovey Tracey and Moretonhampstead, however at this time there is no firm timescale for delivery of the remaining sections between Lustleigh and the most recent construction at Wray Barton.

  4. Caya says:

    I’m very pleased to see this next part of the Wray Valley trail complete, but like many other people frustrated that it ends on another busy section of the main road. Most of us cannot climb with our bikes up the steep sides of the Wray Valley but are forced back on the road.

    There is now a gate at the end marked private. Will this be the next section, or is the landowner making the point that it will not be? I hope that the path will continue under the bridge. It is a handsome and unusual bridge and the cutting would make an evocative section of the path. I would really like to know what the problem is with this next section. I am grateful to all the landowners and others who have worked to make progress on the route. I it gives pleasure to so many people. I know this as I can see people using the trail from my window.

    Unfortunately, the path as it stands now, is not quite long enough to make a satisfying cycling route. The 2.5 miles of main road at the end of it to Lustleigh is a sticking point. Once at Lustleigh there is a fairly quiet and fairly flat lane connecting to the Bovey Tracey section. You need to look at a map to ensure you are going the best way.

    • Hi, thanks for getting in touch. The current section of the Wray Valley Trail ends at Wray Barton in order to provide a convenient link with the A382. Continuing the trail to the limit of the currently available land would have resulted in an insignificant length of additional path to a “dead end” with little value for users. We continue to work on delivery of the Wray Valley Trail, however there is no firm timescale for the provision of the remaining sections.

  5. John Fletcher says:


    I have several issues with the Wray Vlaley Trail. 1. No signs and 2. No. Guide. I have cycled from newton abbot to bovey tracey on the stover trail, then went through a park in bovey tracey with NO signs of the wray valley trail, so had to guess which wY to go, went along to the end of the parks trail, and got to a lane with no signs saying wray valley, so disnt know which way to go, up a hill, or down the hill. Decided to go sown the hill, under a bridge with a sign saying dartmoor way and to the right before the bridge, a sign saying lustleigh. Went up the darmoor way hill, which was huge, and ended ip on a main road. Which way do you go after the stover trail ends and you go down the main road into bovey tracey with a hotel on the right, and the park just a bit further down the the road from the hotel. Very confused.

    John Fletcher

    • Hi, Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, the Wray Valley Trail is not yet complete between Bovey Tracey and Moretonhampstead and Devon County Council is not permitted to advertise or promote the Wray Valley Trail until the route has been completed. This includes providing extensive route/direction signing and obviously prevents the creation of any route guides/leaflets. This agreement was a made with the planning authority during the planning application for the trail in 2008.

      The current extent of the trail from Bovey Tracey towards Moretonhampstead is, as you describe, from Station Road car park, through Mill Marsh Park, under the A382 at hole bridge to join the route of the disused branch line through Parke Estate. The southern section of the Wray Valley ends where the trail meets Lower Knowle Road (shortly after passing over the new Wilford Bridge), south of Lustleigh.

  6. Richard Newell says:

    Forgive my cynicism, but I don’t see the point of this extension. By stopping the trail at Wray Barton, you present cyclists with two choices: follow the narrow and dangerous-to-cyclists A382 for several miles to Lustleigh, or cycling up a very narrow steep lane which is also highly unsuitable for mixed cycles and motor vehicle traffic. You may as well follow the existing ridge road route from Moretonhamsptead to Lustleigh which has neither of these problems.
    If there are no current plans to extend the cycle path to Lustleigh, then surely this is the very definition of a white elephant?

    • Geoff Clinch says:

      Very good point Richard, which is why I asked if it would continue. At the moment its a “road to nowhere”

  7. Geoff Clinch says:

    Are there plans to continue along the old railway to Lustleigh. And if so when might this be.

  8. Lynne Newton says:

    Devon CC has set a ‘benchmark’ for the rest of England in providing multi user tracks. The Wray Way will provide a safe alternative to the very dangerous A382 – Brilliant! Well done!
    Lynne Newton

  9. David Incoll says:

    Brilliant news.Well done DCC on continuing to support in this impressive project.

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