Proposals for a pedestrian and cycle bridge over Summer Lane in Exeter have received the support of Devon County Council’s Cabinet today (Wednesday 9 January).
Councillors approved the construction of the £1.3 million bridge, which will form part of the E4 cycle route from Monkerton to the city centre, subject to planning permission being granted.
The 18-metre span bridge would connect to existing paths in Exhibition Fields and Bettys Mead Playing Fields. These paths are being widened and improved as part of a separate project and would retain their connection directly with Summer Lane in order to connect with local schools and homes.
Outline proposals for the bridge, along with proposals for Exhibition Way and Pinhoe Road, were given a positive response during a public consultation held last year.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: "Building on the success of the Exe Estuary route the Council continues to work towards achieving a strategic cycle and pedestrian network across Exeter. This latest commitment to improve cycling facilities in Exeter is a good way to start the New Year.
“This high-quality cycle and pedestrian bridge across Summer Lane will provide a key connection on the E4 multi-use route which is continuing to develop in Exeter, and it will allow the route to seamlessly join the two existing sections of the route through the Exeter parks. This project should encourage more people to walk and cycle in the city as more sections are pieced together.”
Councillor Hilary Ackland, Devon County Councillor for Pinhoe and Mincinglake, said: “This scheme takes us one step nearer an excellent cycle route from Pinhoe to the centre of Exeter. It sets a high standard for the construction of other strategic cycles routes that will follow in Exeter. It also shows the rest of the country that Devon County Council is a proactive council in enabling cycling as a mode of transport. Devon County Council and the City of Exeter are working together to promote Exeter as a cycle friendly city.”
The existing Western Power Distribution compound, near Willowbrook School Playing Field, would be relocated to accommodate the bridge span.
A full planning application has been submitted and subject to planning permission, preparatory work to clear vegetation would start on site before March to avoid the bird nesting season.
The construction of the bridge, which is being funded by National Productivity Investment Funding (NPIF), developer contributions and the County Council, is scheduled to start in the summer.
The aim of the E4 cycle route is to build a high-quality route between the East of Exeter growth area and the City Centre and University. Some elements are already in place such as Redhayes bridge over the M5 motorway, and the stretch along Cumberland Way between Hollow Lane and Pinhoe Road/Pilton Lane. Proposals for other sections are currently being finalised.
More information and updates can be found at https://new.devon.gov.uk/e4/