Recreational route and cycle trail safety audits

How often are Safety Audits undertaken on Recreational Routes/cycle trails (such as the Ruby Way, Tarka Trail, Exe Trail etc)? This is asked as the strategic cycleway network will be subject to changes over time (for example vegetation grown, surface changes due to use and deterioration, and degrading of structures such as wooden decking).

The Public Rights of Way Wardens inspect the off-road cycleway network (recreational trails) annually. This is a ‘serviceability inspection’ of things like gates, signage, surface condition, drainage and vegetation.Seasonal vegetation cutting and drainage (ditch cleaning) is also arranged as budgets permit. Bridge engineers carry out 3 yearly and 6 yearly inspections of large structures and bridges. This includes boardwalks. Devon Highways Safety Inspectors carry out Safety Inspections on an annual basis in accordance with the Highway Safety Policy .

When are the next Safety Audits due to take place on each of the Recreational Routes?

Annual Inspections are undertaken on this network as above.Safety Audits are carried out when a route is built and if there is a major change in its design or use. A trail may be built in many parts over long distances, each part requiring several different types of safety audits. To provide advice and assistance here is are links to examples for the Wray Valley Trail, Lower Knowle Road.

Wray Valley Trail Lower Knowle Road Stage 1 & 2 report

Wray Valley Trail Lower Knowle Road Stage 3 report.

You will note that some sections of the reports have been redacted, this is because they contain personal data which relates to individuals and which is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 Section 40(2) personal data.

What considerations are taken into account for equestrians over and above those taken for cyclists and walkers?

The Public Rights of Way condition criteria on this link is used for the inspection of the recreational trails. Where sections of the Trails have been identified as being appropriate for equestrian use then the Warden inspections would take that into account and the bridleway criteria applied.

Please could you supply the existing Safety Audits for all existing Recreational Trails.

The Road Safety Audit team carry out several hundred safety audits each year, many of them for recreational routes and shared paths, and we hold records back to 2003. To identify, locate and compile them would take well in excess of the 18 hours allowed under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 Section 12 – cost of compliance.