Josephine Ash says:
This path is an absolute necessity. Every village should have access to walk/cycle to it’s nearest town. Well done with the website it looks great. Lets keep up the pressure and get this path built. Josephine
Dr. Elaine Seymour says:
I visit my family in Little Hempston several times a year and always blanche when I encounter a cyclist on the highly dangerous A381 to Totnes. I enjoy visiting the South Devon Railway and Rare Beeds Farm with my grand daughters. They are very nice people, and I imagine they would find it hard to forgive themselves if a cyclist were injured or killed on that road. Come on fellers; win the thanks of your community! Just a little neighbourly negotiation can make this clearly-needed cycle path a reality.
Iso Barnden says:
Completion of this leg of the cycle path makes so much sense, not only to residents of Littlehempston and environs who deserve joined-up local and environmentally friendly transport routes, but to longer-distance cyclists and economy-boosting holiday visitors to Totnes. I hope that the old logjam of resistance will finally be freed by this positive campaign.
Ali Taylor says:
Well done on organising such an impressive web site. We moved to Littlehempston this summer and were surprised to find that it wasn’t possible to cycle into Totnes. I did have a crack at cycling over Bourton Lane, but coming back with 2 panniers of shopping was hard going and not something I’ve tried again. Also had a go at cycling on the A381, but I’m not brave (or foolhardy) enough to go all the way to Totnes. We would love to cycle to Totnes and leave the car behind – good for us and the planet. Not totally sure what the problem is, but surely South West Water, South Devon Railway and the Rare Breeds Farm could be persuaded to give the scheme a try for a trial period of say 6 months?
Kirstien Bjerregaard says:
I recently moved to Littlehempston with my two young children. It feels absolutely wrong that we have to get into the car to get basic essentials and conduct nearly every aspect of our lives, even though we are only 1.5 miles away from Totnes. It is shocking that there is no safe walking or cycling route to any shops, school, train… I would like to support this campaign in any way I can, as a cycle route would greatly improve the quality of our lives on a daily basis. Thank you for all your hard work to date.
Jacqueline Baynes says:
As a level route to and from Littlehempston and Totnes and a completion of a link within the network this is a vital piece of cycle path that cannot be put off any longer! Why is it when things make perfect sense they are dragged along slowly – the reason is money!! Cycles are cost effective. healthy methods of moving large numbers of people around, flexible, safe and free bar the cost of the bike – release the land, give it back to the people, without delay. Heel draggers! On Yer Bikes!!!
Dawn Bishop says:
We desperately need this path if we want to encourage cycling and walking for short journeys. You only have to look at the success of other cycle paths around the country – including our Totnes-Dartington path – to know that they really can be well used and provide an alternative means of commuting to the car.
Bee West says:
There is so much support for this route and I cannot see why there is so much opposition to it. We are all being encouraged to lead healthier lives, respect our environment and support community-led initiatives. This ticks every single box.
Personally, I would be able to cycle to work – something that I have done all my working life – except in Devon, and my children would be able to cycle independently to Totnes to see friends and go to the sports centre.
Who is saying ‘no’ to it and why?
Carolyn Townsend says:
The Totnes – Littlehempston cycle path is vital to link up with the other cycle networks. It makes perfect sense a safe, level cycle path to encourage more people to get fitter and healthier and to get on their bikes and appreciate the beautiful countryside that we live in. Well done with the website. Lets make it happen.
Margot Cooper says:
Great that support is building momentum for this cause! Thank you everyone for helping to promote the much needed cycle path. If only it had come 10 years ago when my son was young. Better late than never!
Chris Waters says:
I totally support the idea of this cycle path – as many of us have for many years now! I feel the objections are spurious and are concocted largely to maintain the status quo around the Rare Breed Centre and the Railway; the potential benefits are many, including: safety for current cycle users, avoiding the dangerous A381; healthy options for young and old, avoiding car use – thus reducing carbon footprint; promotion of green tourism – which would also benefit the Farm and the Railway. The project should be capable of being handled with rational discussion, avoiding the somewhat hysterical scare-mongering that the local media so loves to seize on.
James Bellchambers says:
The proposed new cycle route from Totnes, via Littlehempston, would re-establish a prehistoric land route which connected the town of Totnes, through the medieval borough of Northford. This route was finally abandoned soon after the second world war. Before that time cattle would still be brought to Totnes Market and railway sidings, over a ford, from Littlehempston and beyond.
The construction of the present pedestrian bridge, was funded with significant contributions from public sources.
The opening of a permanent cycleway / footpath would offer a new, and far safer, route into the countryside, to the east of Totnes, than the present Newton Road, which is a frightening way for any cyclist or pedestrian.
River Lovejoy says:
There are ways round the problem of the river crossing. It needs goodwill on all sides. There will not be a perfect solution. Something will have to be tried and maybe it will not work well first time, so it will have to be modified. With open minds this sort of iteration will be possible and we will all benefit.
Emma Trayfoot says:
I will soon be living in the Littlehempston area, I have health issues and would find the Newton Abbot road too long, steep and fast to use regularly, the cycle path would greatly increase my ability to come into Totnes and significantly reduce my car use.
Mr Peters says:
Our family has lived next to the proposed route and campaigned on it for 7 years. It is a disgrace that the South Devon Railway “Bulliver” bridge was paid for by public monies 17 years ago (1993) and installed with the FREE aid of the miltary – yet the public are prevented from using it for access to Littlehempston / Totnes.
We have 2 children and it is bizzare that we have to drive 3 miles to Totnes (as the main road is too dangerous for children to cycle on) yet we actually live less than 1 mile from Totnes and we could walk into town in 10 minutes if the route was open. We have resorted to fording the river at the back of the weir – however nasty officals have painted black sticky paint on the Totnes side to stop people even using this route.
Why when we need to reduce driving and polution is this route not being opened? It was proposed back in 1999 as part of Sustrans National Cycleway Network – 11 years is too long to wait.
Thanks Sarah Wollaston MP, for pushing this issue – get it built in 2011 and you will have our votes at the next election.
Heather Townsend – KEVICCS student says:
I have many friends in Totnes and this cycle path would make it so easy for me to visit them, or for them to reach me and to use the local facilities- swimming pool, shops, school! etc. Can there really be a good reason not to have this access for so many people? We are the next generation and we want this cyclepath to happen. We are aware of global warming and carbon footprints, what sort of example would this be to us if it does not go ahead?
Mark Townsend says:
Brilliant web site, brilliant idea, loads of support, so obviously the right thing to do. The infrastructure already in place, so what is the problem? Really, what is the problem? 2011 around the corner this could easily be in use by the summer, it just makes so much sense, doesn’t it.
Mr Andrew Peters says:
I’ve been walking the route for 8 years and my crazy son even took his scooter down it. I agree with Cllr Alan Gorman – it IS an existing route – Two old green lanes to Staverton and Littlehempston.
Route One – As James Bellchambers describes above, it goes from North Ford, Totnes. We cross on the mainline railway bridge – walking to the end of the platform and then jumping down onto the tracks (keeping out of sight of the CCTV) or climb their fence further along. Once over the bridge, we cross through the Steam Railway station and then cut left through the field with the cows / bulls and loop back over the top of the stone bridge, going up the road to Littlehempston.
Route 2 – We walk across the back of the North Weir – there is a metre wide ‘plateform’, and then up a ladder at the other side of the river, through Weir Field, past the SWW pumping station and either cut left through ‘Ranney 1′ pumping station’s track and up onto the Steam Railway then onto to The Old Manor, then up towards Staverton walking on the Steam Railway. Or we stay on the SWW road and cross the stone bridge described in Route 1 and on to Littlehempston.
Route 3 – We walk across the Steam Railway footbridge over the river Dart – if you are lucky it will be open, if not you either climb over the top or round the outside – scary, but my lad has been doing it since he was 3 – as he says – childs play!) I walk through the Steam Railway station area and either keep to the far left and follow the fence line to the cow field, then over the stone bridge to Littlehempston or I jump down onto the tracks at the level crossing by the Rare Breeds Centre and off to Staverton.
Many thanks to the woman in her 80′s who I met a couple of years ago who told me she’d been doing some of these routes since the 1940′s.!!
Don’t worry about railway people shouting at you, unless its British Transport Pigs – the railway workers have no power of arrest and it was the Railway that built on the original Green Lanes and then denied the public access to public lands (and took our money to build THEIR private footbridge!).
Vernon Clarke says:
Great to see so many comments – I hope as many of the powers that be, listen ! We have lived in Littlehempston for 13 years and moved here when our daughter was 8. She is now at University and never had the chance to cycle safely into Totnes. I hope it doesn’t take another generation of village children to grow up before they can enjoy safe and green transport into town. The apparent concerns of a few that hordes of Totnesian latter day teenage pillagers would descend on the Rare Breeds Farm and the Railway is risible ! One would have thought the opening of a cycle path would be welcomed by any business with vision – after all, footfall is the goal of most leisure attractions.
Margot Cooper says:
Living in Littlehempston I am aware how urgently needed this path is. I used to
worry about my son cycling on the main road, it’s treacherous. Ilend my support
to everyone fighting this cause.
Kate Legum says:
No one seems to object to the idea of having a path but the route needs to be agreed by as many people as possible. Lets get together and look at any issues raised by those affected by the path and see how they can be addressed.
Jon Morris says:
The proposed cycle track will finally give the villagers of Littlehempston, Broadhempston and other outlying parishes a real alternative to the frankly suicidal option of cycling on the busy A381. School children, local workers and commuters would finally have a safe and easy cycle route into Totnes taking the strain of the already clogged roads into town. Totnes residents would gain a new recreational cycle route akin to the existing Dartington cycle path and benefiting the local tourist industry.
Bourton Lane has been suggested as a possible option for the new route. Judging by the deserted lane in the morning, I believe that I am in the unique position of being the only person currently using Bourton Lane to commute into Totnes on a daily basis and I have to say that it is not for the faint or weak hearted. The track is a hellish mix of loose stones, pot holes and mud incorporating a gruelling 1000m hill
climb. During the winter months, the track quickly becomes a stream bed and cold snaps quickly turn this into a sheet of ice that would make Sir Ranulph Feins think twice. The track adds around a mile to the route into Totnes and eventually emerges onto a blind bend on the equally dangerous A385.
The conditions are so bad in the winter, that I am forced to either walk this (approx. 45mins) or cycle an 8 mile round trip through Staverton and Dartington. Even with repaving and proper drainage I still don’t feel that Bourton Lane would make a viable alternative for those wishing to cycle/walk between Littlehempston and Totnes.
I feel that the proposed route via the waterworks/Rare Breeds Centre presents the only reasonable option for those wishing to travel to work or school without a vehicle and if this founders we would let a rare opportunity to improve the lives and health of local residents slip through our fingers.
Jo Clarke says:
I want give my full support to the Littlehempston Cycle Path and the fantastic team who work tirelessly to ensure that this fantastic idea comes to fruition.
I live in Littlehempston with my family, all of whom regularly cycle in the lanes and surrounding villages. We travel by car into Totnes about 3 or 4 times a day, often more – journies which would definitely be taken by bicycle given the chance but the current route (A381) is far too fast and dangerous.
It really does seem like a no brainer (health and fitness, safety, significant reduction in carbon emissions, cost etc etc) – why cant the South Devon Railway see sense and see the positive side of sharing the bridge?
Big thank you to all the team – keep up the excellent work, we really appreciate what you are doing.
Stuart Dorman says:
As a local resident of Littlehempston I would like to add my full support to this project.
My children are approaching the age where they will be going to KEVICCS. Like most Littlehempstoners we pop into Totnes several times a week. I commute from Totnes station on a regular basis. Just think of the number of car journeys (and fuel) that would be saved if this project goes ahead! Never mind the reduction in traffic at rush hour. And I agree with the previous comment that the Steam Train Cafe and Rare Breeds centre will see strong support from locals and passing trade. What a great place to meet your more ‘urban’ friends from Totnes!
Surely the cycle path project is a no brainer?
Jon Morris says:
I have just noticed a poster in the Littlehempston parish notice board promoting Bourton Lane as cycle route from Littlehempston to Totnes. – A couple of questions:
1) Does this mean that the Parish Council are endorsing this as their preferred route?
2) Has this poster person actually tried cycling Bourton Lane??!!
I would very happily join them on a trial ride from Totnes Station to the Tally Ho pub to see just how fun and safe it is [I would, however, advise a very low geared mountain bike for the hills and a good stick for the dogs].
Seriously, I am very happy to do this if you want to suggest a date and time. I will even get the beers in at the end. Now there’s an offer!
Jennifer galton-fenzi says:
I have no particular axe to grind one way or the other; however it is a fact that there is quite a lot of opposition in Littlehempston village itself to the proposed route. Of course everyone is ‘for’ cycling, just as everyone is ‘against sin’, as the old joke goes!
However, I do think that before anyone posts a comment, they should go down as far as they can to that end of the village, understand the particular geography, and then perhaps they will understand better the reasons for the objections, and respect the views of the objectors even if they do not agree with them.
What are the views of the objectors regarding the geography of the village?
Balanced View says:
Clearly there is a propaganda offensive going on at the moment and the views expressed here are by the very nature of the blog those who have a supportive view and are not given all of the facts.
I live locally and have to say that a lot of local residents do feel strongly that the current favoured route is not sensible.
There is a lot of agricultural traffic up and down the road to the waterworks, as well as frequent deliveries by HGVs.
Planning to pave over yet more green fields for the purpose of access to the countryside seems nonsense, and just because some supporters achieve the support of councillors and MPs, who by their nature will put their names to anything which they think will make them popular does not validate their ideas.
This is a costly scheme and I’m not sure that I want my tax spent in this way.
This campaign is in danger of dividing the local community, and this blog is guilty of ostracising local people because their views differ.
By all means have a cycle path so that you can have your fun, but think again, involve the local stakeholders and don’t ridicule and patronise them.
Respect everybody’s views, involve everybody fairly, and put it somewhere that makes sense.
Jim Carfrae says:
I was brought up in Littlehempston, and as a youngster the proposed route would have been a godsend!
As an adult living in Totnes, I still use Bourton Lane, but it is long, steep and dangerous! I can’t see Devon highways agreeing to a crossing of the main road so close to a blind bend.
There are inevitable fears and concerns about a new cycle route, but they don’t always transpire – do you remember the resident who thought that the Shinners bridge to Hood path would encourage burglars!