The Teign Estuary Trail
The Teign Estuary Trail is a long-term aspiration of Devon County Council, forming part of the council’s Cycling and Multi-use Trail Strategy with work being undertaken to progress the design of various sections over recent years.
The first section of the Teign Estuary Trail between Town Quay, Newton Abbot and Kingsteignton was opened in March 2013. This section, while part of the future Teign Estuary route, is a valuable connection for local utility trips to work and other facilities in its own right.
More recently, the route eastwards linking Newton Abbot Racecourse to Passage House Inn opened in April 2018. This currently leaves a gap on the coastal walking and cycling route between Passage House Inn and Dawlish.
From Dawlish, the path already connects to the Exe Estuary Trail and provides a high-quality route via Exeter to Exmouth.
The Teign Estuary Trail Strategy
Design work is progressing on outstanding sections of the Teign Estuary Trail. Devon County Council and Teignbridge District Council both committed £200,000 earlier this year to prepare and submit a planning application for the missing link between Passage House Inn and Teignmouth.
The work to connect the Teign and Exe Estuary routes has been split into sections: Passage House Inn to Bishopsteignton, Teignmouth, and Teignmouth to Dawlish.
Passage House Inn to Bishopsteignton and Teignmouth
This part of the route would be approximately 5km in length from the end of the current section at Passage House Inn. The section to Bishopsteignton would run over open land inland of the railway and connections would be made to Bishopsteignton which would enable local businesses to benefit from additional trade.
Beyond Bishopsteignton the route has several constraints given the nature of the topography together with the proximity to the A381, neighbouring properties, the main west coast railway line and the estuary.
To address these, a route primarily on the northern side of the A381 has been identified utilising sections of old highway and widening sections of existing footway, some set into the hillside, to achieve desired path widths and provide estuary views.
This would stretch from Bishopsteignton for approximately 1.5km, terminating at the junction of the A381 with the entrance to Morrisons superstore/garage.
Within Teignmouth, pedestrians would use existing footways. A segregated cycle route is not currently possible due to the constraints of the urban environment. It is therefore proposed that for the time being the Teign Estuary Trail strategy does not prioritise sections within the Teignmouth urban environment beyond the junction of the A381 with the entrance to Morrisons.
It is expected that confident cyclists would remain on the existing highway to navigate the urban environment, whilst those who are less confident would permeate through quieter, residential routes.
Should suitable funding sources be identified, a further phase of the Teign Estuary Trail to include the provision of an urban route through Teignmouth could be explored. However, to prevent the resolution of these challenging aspects from stalling the route as a whole, this is omitted from the current strategy.
Teignmouth to Dawlish
A complete route between Teignmouth and Holcombe has been identified, beginning in Teignmouth town centre. Pedestrians could use the promenade adjacent to the railway, and for cyclists, the route would head northeast using quiet roads near Eastcliff Park and public rights of way before running on shared-use paths parallel to the A379 to Holcombe.
Northeast from Holcombe, the trail would continue along shared-use paths parallel to the main A379 to reach Dawlish. There is an existing pedestrian route along the coast.
Following a similar approach to the urban area in Teignmouth, a light-touch approach would be taken through Dawlish itself. Pedestrians would use existing facilities and it is expected that confident cyclists would remain on the existing highway, whilst those who are less confident could be routed through quieter, residential routes.
The local authorities are continuing to engage with partners and the local community on the progress of the Trail. A recent joint letter of support for the delivery of the Teign Estuary Trail has been sent to Sustrans, the walking and cycling charity with responsibility for the National Cycle Network.
The letter seeks to raise awareness and support for the work ongoing to develop the route which has the backing and commitment of a number of local councils, including Devon County Council, Teignbridge District Council, and town and parish councils along the estuary.
Devon County Council, Teignbridge District Council and Bishopsteignton Parish Council recently attended Bishopsteignton Festival to gather community input into the planning application being prepared.
The local ‘Save the Teign Estuary Trail Campaign’ also helped out at the event where a total of 168 signatures of support were collected, a noteworthy amount of support at a local event.
The Teign Estuary Trail is a project which continues to attract significant local support, with a huge number of residents, cycle enthusiasts, walkers, business owners and visitors to the area flagging up the need for the delivery of this route on a continual basis.
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