Have your say on proposed extension of multi-use trail
A public consultation is underway from today (Friday 11 March) on proposals to complete a missing link of a multi-use trail near to the A386 north of Plymouth.
Devon County Council is developing plans for a new multi-use trail between the Clearbrook Leat car park and Roborough.
The existing Drake’s Trail offers a high quality and well used multi-use route from Tavistock, through Yelverton to the Clearbrook Leat car park, before heading onwards towards the east of Plymouth. However, there is currently no safe, accessible route to the north of the city.
The County Council is in the early stages of exploring two route options to extend Drake’s Trail between Clearbrook and Roborough, and people are being asked to provide their views on the options by completing an online questionnaire by Friday 6 May.
Route A is 3.3km in length and heads towards the A386, following Clearbrook Road southwest from Clearbrook Leat car park, before crossing the A386 at Clearbrook junction. It then heads south along the western verge of the A386 to reach Roborough.
Route B is away from the road and runs over Dartmoor, but is slightly longer at 3.5km. It follows Clearbrook Road southwest from Clearbrook Leat car park to the existing footpath adjacent to Plymouth Leat. It then heads south along Plymouth Leat and around the South West Water Treatment before crossing fields parallel to the A386 to reach Roborough.
Third party land would be required for the scheme and relevant planning consent would be needed for construction, with additional permission needed on Dartmoor National Park and Common Land. Funding for the scheme is also yet to be identified.
The A386, which currently provides the main travel route between Yelverton and Roborough, isn’t suitable for cyclists or pedestrians as it does not have suitable pavements and is not wide enough to allow cyclists and motor vehicles to share road space.
Average daily traffic flows are between 16,000 and 18,000 vehicles and these are likely to increase with housing developments allocated in the Joint Local Plan for the area.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said:
“This consultation is an opportunity for people to find out more about the route alternatives and to provide us with their thoughts on them. Feedback from the consultation will inform the design recommendations as the project progresses to fill this gap in active travel provision to the north of Plymouth. Completing this missing link for walkers and cyclists will support our ongoing commitment to developing a network of traffic-free, multi-use trails across the county that provide access for all and promotes healthy, active travel habits. It will also provide alternative travel options to and from Roborough to help us with our zero net carbon targets.”
Devon County Council Leader John Hart, County Councillor for Bickleigh and Wembury, said:
“I very much welcome this consultation. There are some regular cyclists who do currently cycle on the busy A386, but it’s far from ideal for them. This route would provide a much safer route into Plymouth so we’d like to hear from everyone who would consider using it – from the serious cyclist to families who enjoy walking or cycling on days out. This trail would provide enormous benefits for commuters as well as those who would use the trail in their leisure time, and from what we’ve seen already with our network of trails across the county, the positive impact of that is good for local businesses and local communities.”
Councillor Philip Sanders, County Councillor for Yelverton Rural, said:
“I would encourage everyone to take a look at the options and to feed back their views. This is a critical piece of infrastructure to link the Yelverton, Tavistock area communities to the north of Plymouth. It will provide a walking and cycle route to Derriford Hospital among other destinations.”
Councillor Judy Pearce, Leader of South Hams District Council, said: “We are delighted to be working with our partners at Devon County Council on sustainable travel opportunities for the area and we very much look forward to hearing the views of local people within the consultation. This proposal could become a key route for connecting rural communities with the north of Plymouth. If plans go ahead, they would complete the missing link on this popular multi-use trail into the city for cyclists, walkers and runners. This in turn would offer increased benefits for physical fitness, mental health and better ways to travel to work, cutting the District’s carbon footprint, as well as supporting local businesses in the area with increased footfall.”
Councillor Caroline Mott, West Devon Borough Council’s Lead Member for Built Environment, said: “Through our Plan for West Devon, we have pledged to work with our partners to make sure that infrastructure is in place to meet the future needs of our communities. We have also promised to encourage active travel. By doing this, we are reducing the need for future car use and enhancing our environment by mitigating against climate change. Since 2020, the government has prioritised investment in new active travel routes to increase cycling, horse riding and walking, and we’re hoping to attract that investment into West Devon and maximise the benefits for our communities. We would encourage our residents to get involved in this consultation and have their say on these plans which will enable safer green travel which bypasses travelling on the very busy A386.”
Two online webinar events will be held as part of the consultation – the first on Wednesday 16 March at 5pm and then on Thursday 31 March at 3pm.
To register for a webinar please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or register online at devon.cc/clearbrooktoroborough.
To request a paper copy of the consultation leaflet and/or the questionnaire, please email us at email@example.com , or write to Transportation Planning, County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 2QD.