Devon County Council is committed to promoting walking and cycling by investing in new routes for leisure and commuter trips. The 2021 census data showed only 2% of people living in Seaton currently commute by bicycle.
The Seaton to Colyford Multi-Use Trail proposes to link the communities of Seaton and Colyford with a safe, direct and attractive path which is accessible for all. The route between the settlements is designated as part of the National Cycle Network (NCN) Route 2, which includes the Exe Estuary Trail and connects the East Devon market and coastal towns of Exmouth, Budleigh Salterton, Sidmouth, Seaton and Axminster through to the Dorset border and onwards to Portsmouth. Whilst the majority of the existing NCN2 between Seaton and Colyford consists of high-quality off-road provision, there is a missing gap in the middle which currently diverts users onto a section of road, unsuitable for families and less confident cyclists. This scheme proposes to complete this section of the route with a parallel and off-road shared use path, consistent with the standard of route running north of Seaton. In doing so this would deliver approximately 2 miles of high-quality, safe and attractive cycle route suitable for all ages between the communities of Seaton and Colyford, improving access to the Seaton Wetlands and beyond on low traffic lanes to Axminster.
The route is supported in the Devon and Torbay Local Transport Plan 3, 2011-2026 and in the Cycling and Multi-Use Trail Network Strategy April 2015.The route objectives also align with the vision of the future for Seaton, as set out in the adopted East Devon Local Plan 2013 – 2031.
A planning application for improvements to this section of the Seaton to Colyford Multi-Use Trail was approved in September 2011.