The hospital, sports centre and secondary school in Ottery St Mary are located on the west side of the River Otter and were only accessible to most of the local community by a busy main road. Local people were keen to walk and cycle more but the lack of a safe route away from traffic discouraged them and meant that congestion in the town centre remained high.
“ The route feels so much safer and more convenient. It’s a good dog walking route, so I will be using it for that as well as doing the school run in future. ”
Sustrans developed a new walking and cycling route to create a direct link between Ottery St Mary town centre and the local schools and hospital. The centrepiece of the project is a 90 metre-long bridge over the River Otter, which connects directly to the Land of Canaan park. The iconic new bridge was designed to be functional and sympathetic to the local rural landscape.
The route is very well used, especially by the hundreds of schoolchildren going to and from the King’s School. It offers a more convenient and safer way to get to essential amenities, such as the local supermarket, and consequently has enabled people to make more local journeys by foot or by bike. It also provides the chance for walkers and cyclists to enjoy the tranquility and peacefulness of the riverbank and nearby water meadows.
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