One year on and a step closer for Newton Abbot's walking and cycling network

It's one year since Sustrans' Connect2 won the TV vote to bring £50million from the Big Lottery Fund to 79 communities across the UK to create networks for everyday journeys for people travelling by foot or bike.

Today, the multi-million pound project, including a spectacular route spanning the River Teign to connect Newton Abbot and Kingsteignton is a step closer as sustainable transport charity Sustrans and its Connect2 partners at Devon County Council prepare to sign the paperwork that will guide the development of the schemes for the coming years.

This agreement will confirm the partners' continued commitment to the project and will pledge £500,000 from Sustrans' Connect2 lottery funds to create two miles of walking and cycling path away from the main road linking Newton Abbot and Kingsteignton, enabling people in those communities to bypass the bypass by path.

Over the coming months partners will work with the local communities to ensure the routes are the best they can be - enabling people to get to work, to school or the shops in ways which are beneficial to their health and the environment.

With the majority of funding now in place, the county have appointed engineers to draw up detailed designs for the new bridge and its network of paths.

Over the next few years works will begin on the paths and crossings, with the brand new foot and cycle bridge over the river, scheduled to be completed by 2013.

Works will begin in Kingsteignton later next year to refurbish existing paths and create a high quality and convenient road crossing. New links to Newton Abbot's railway station will provide better access for walkers and cyclists from nearby communities and the riverside through a series of road improvements, and a new bridge and other linked routes are due to be built by 2013 - providing a quick and convenient river crossing for everyday journeys.

Councillor Margaret Rogers, Devon County Council Executive Member for Environment, said: "The County Council is committed to improving sustainable transport right across Devon and this scheme is a perfect example of what can be achieved. We're keen to see this route completed to help make Devon even greener and it will bring huge benefits to people in Newton Abbot and Kingsteignton, where this link has been desperately needed for some time to create a better and safer route for people. It's encouraging that it's moving towards reality."

Sustrans' Area Manager, Peter Grainger says: "I'm absolutely delighted that Devon County Council is making this significant step towards completing the Connect2 scheme to enable local people to walk and cycle more. What is even more encouraging is the potential for this network to expand in the years ahead to reach into even more communities, to make it easier for them to get around in a way which is good for them and the environment."

This scheme has been made possible through the enormous popular support for Sustrans' Connect2 - as voted for by the public in the UK's largest lottery competition last December.
The anticipated cost of the Newton Abbot and Kingsteignton scheme is £3million, with £500,000 coming from the Big Lottery Fund as part of Sustrans Connect2.

The lottery award will be added to locally sourced match-funding to transform local travel in 79 communities throughout the UK - changing the lives of six million people who live within a mile of a scheme. Over the next five years, an average of £30 million will be invested annually to create these local walking and cycling networks from Devon to Perthshire.

Source: Sustrans