Devon awarded prestigious award for it’s cycling network

Devon Federation of Small Business has recognised the growing cycling network with a prestigious award. They presented Devon County Council with the Tourism Best All Round Scheme award for the investment of £13 million they made over the last three years in cycle trails. This funding has helped to develop many iconic trails, which has built on years of investment made in walking and cycling routes throughout the county.

Included in these is Drakes Trail, linking Tavistock to Plymouth, which includes Gem Bridge (newly opened), the Exe Estuary trail which is to connect Devon’s 80,000 residents to Exeter, Town Quay Connect 2 Bridge, which links Kingsteignton to Newton Abbot via a new route, Tarka Trail in North Devon and Granite Way in West Devon: the final two are already well established.

The schemes have helped establish diversifications and new businesses whilst also supporting local firms such as accommodation, hostels, food outlets, bicycle shops and hire centres. Across Devon tourism remains one of the main employment sectors and this investment supports the business by attracting year-round visitors, contributing to the overall brand and image of the County as a visitor destination.

During the last five years numbers of cyclists in Devon has grown by 5%; in Exeter where investment has been more focused numbers are up by 40%. The Devon Cycling Strategy is targeting an increase of another 20% in cycling trips over the next five years to be outside of Exeter in identified areas.

Cycle infrastructure is to receive a further £13.9 million investment up to 2015, which is supplemented by the Local Sustainable Transport Fund along with other grants and developer contributions. The County Council partner with the Cycle West Project, providing a link between South West England, Brittany and Normandy by promoting the cross-Channel cycle routes.