Some £5 million from the sale of Exeter Airport is to be invested in cycle routes in Devon. The county council says this will stimulate the local economy, put Devon on the map as a premier destination for cycle tourism and help turn it into England's greenest county.
Leisure and commuting routes which will benefit from windfall include the Stop Line Way along the Axe Estuary (£1.8m), tracing the historic World War Two defences from Burnham-on-Sea to Seaton, and a path between Newton Abbot and Teignmouth (£1.3m).
The council hopes to complete most of the Stop Line Way in time for the 2012 London Olympics. The first phase of the Seaton to Colyford section has already been constructed and a planning application has been submitted for a crossing under the A35, creating a traffic-free link between Axminster and Kilmington.
Councillor Margaret Rogers said: "The county already offers extensive cycling routes and these schemes can reinforce our reputation as the place to visit to enjoy miles of scenic cycling. These routes will put Devon at the forefront of attracting more tourists for cycling holidays."
Other schemes to benefit from the money include:
- The completion of a link from Hatherleigh to Holsworthy along the Ruby Way
- A shared footway and cycleway from Pinhoe to Broadclyst
- An extension of the route from Clearbrook to Roborough on the outskirts of Plymouth
- Upgrading the Haldon Forest Trail