The completion of an ‘East to West’ shared cycling and pedestrian route in Newton Abbot was approved by Devon County Council’s Cabinet today (Wednesday 13 September).
The £1.45million scheme, along Ashburton Road, will complete the route between Greenaway Road and Mile End Road.
It will connect housing developments Houghton Barton and Hele Park to schools, the railway station, local amenities, the town centre and the rest of the town’s cycle network.
This sustainable transport corridor is vital to enable the town to expand and grow – thousands more homes are planned over the next two decades.
Devon County Council is developing a network of cycle routes across the town to provide links to all the key destinations.
This East-West route, connecting the development on the A383 Ashburton Road with the rest of the network, is a major part of this.
The first part of the Ashburton Road scheme, between Greenaway Road and Exeter Road was completed in 2015, building on previous improvements around Coombeshead College.
This new section, measuring around 1.2km in length, will be built in two stages. The first stage will be approximately 200m in length and include the section between Greenaway Road and Oak Park Road.
It has a planned completion date of March 2018 and will include raised crossings at Greenaway Road and Mapleton Close, and a new puffin crossing on Ashburton Road near to Broadlands Avenue. This will replace the existing uncontrolled crossing with a refuge island.
The second stage will be approximately 1km in length and consist of junction improvements at Oak Park Road, Laurie Lane and Elmwood Avenue.
Raised crossings will be added, bus lay-bys removed and an uncontrolled crossing with a refuge island will be installed to better connect the route to Barton Drive.
Councillor Gordon Hook, Devon County Council’s local member for Newton Abbot South, said: “This is great news for Newton Abbott. A high quality cycling corridor will encourage more people of all ages and abilities to walk and cycle to school, to work and to local services. I support these proposals. They will not only reduce traffic congestion but encourage people to take more exercise and will boost the local economy.”
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways said: “Newton Abbot is growing and this will place further pressure on the already busy local roads, particularly during peak periods. It is vital therefore that more journeys, particularly shorter trips, are made sustainably. Walking and cycling will need to play an increasingly important part, whether as the whole trip or as a link to public transport.”
Councillor Jackie Brodie, Devon Council Council’s local member for Newton Abbot North said: “Quality cycling and walking routes like this not only help people to stay healthy for longer but reduces pollution and carbon dioxide created by traffic and congestion and improves access to public transport links.”