New path makes pedalling safer

cutting the ribbon on the cycle path
The new cycle path will make the journey much safer for cyclists and pedestrians Photo: ITV Westcountry

Exeter's extensive network of cycle-friendly routes has been extended with a new section of track to Exeter Airport.

The road linking the airport to the main A30 dual carriageway is hardly wide enough for two trucks to pass and has no footpath. The new route runs from the roundabout off the A30 into the airport's long-stay car park and should prove much safer for pedestrians as well as cyclists.

narrow road to Exeter Airport
Cyclists no longer have to brave a busy and narrow road Credit: ITV Westcountry

As many as 200 staff already cycle to work at the airport occasionally. The airport safety manager is one of those who cycle in every day. He says the new track will encourage colleagues to join him on two wheels.

I cycle to work every day, but a lot of people have said, 'Oh that lane down there is dangerous. We don't like the idea of cycling down that.' So I think now that the track is open we'll see a lot more people using it and cycling to work.

– Simon Grace, Airport Safety Manager

Some staff say cycling is their quickest way to work.

It's just speeds up my journey, it's about to to fifteen minutes on my bike or twenty minutes in the car. So it's really lovely beating all the cars.

– Sam Allen, Airport Finance Manager
Exterior of Exeter International
It is thought air passengers might even arrive on two wheels - though luggage might be a problem Credit: Exeter International

The locally based airline Flybe is happy to take bikes on many of its flights. Taking holiday luggage on a bike may not be practical but many passengers travel with cabin baggage only. Cycling to the airport could be a way for them to leave the car at home and avoid long term parking charges.

Whether passengers will use it or not I'm not so sure with the luggage implications but certainly there's now the opportunity for passengers to cycle into the airport and take their bikes on to some of our Flybe aircraft as well. So all in all I think it will be a very positive thing for the area.

– Matt Roach, Airport General Manager

Exeter has been building its reputation as a cycle friendly city. It has a £5 Million cycle and pedestrian bridge across the M5 to link with the new development at Cranbrook and many dedicated cycle lanes. The Exe Estuary Way now allows cyclists to get from Dawlish to Exmouth away from other traffic.

Cambridge won the accolade as Britain's best city for bikes but it's against stiff competition in the south west.

Cambridge may be the cycle city but Devon is the cycle county with all the infrastructure and all the cycle ways we're opening throughout the county we're going to prove to the whole of the UK that Devon is the place to be if you want to be on your bike."

– Cllr Stuart Hughes, Devon County Councillor
cyclists on Exeter airport cycle path
Up to 200 staff at Exeter Airport say they occasionally cycle to work - saving money and getting fit at the same time Credit: ITV Westcountry

Cyclists are also keen to point out that taking the bike to work is a great way to keep fit. It saves the expense of fares or fuel for the car and the cost of a subscription to the gymn.