CYCLING to Pilton Community College is being made safer thanks to the completion of the latest phase of the Barnstaple cycle lane network by Devon County Council. The scheme, which gets cyclists off the road and creates a safer access into the school fr

CYCLING to Pilton Community College is being made safer thanks to the completion of the latest phase of the Barnstaple cycle lane network by Devon County Council. The scheme, which gets cyclists off the road and creates a safer access into the school from Abbey Road, will be officially opened on Wednesday of next week. This route is also the first stage of a proposed £230,000 link that will eventually connect the school to the Western Bypass and Downstream Bridge, giving students from across Barnstaple a virtually traffic free route to school. Encouraging safer cycling to promote healthy lifestyles and reduce car use is a key objective in Devon County Council's Local Transport Plan, and creating safer cycle routes is a vital part of that. To celebrate the opening, Pilton Community College will be offering a healthy breakfast to all students who cycle to school on the day. There will also be a mountain bike trials display by Devon County Council's cycling ambassador Andrei Burton. Andrei, who is Britain's top rider in the sport, is ranked sixth in the world Elite class.Devon County Council Leader and County Councillor for Barnstaple North Brian Greenslade, said: "This is a small link in the chain for a network of cycle routes around Barnstaple but it's an important one. The long term aim is to make it possible for students to cycle to their schools and colleges from many areas of the town. "This should serve as a good example of what can be achieved and I'm sure students will make the most of it. Once the whole cycle path is complete it will help balance the flow of cyclists by having an access to east of west of the Community College instead of just being largely concentrated on Abbey Rd."Councillor Margaret Rogers, Devon County Council Executive Member for Environment, said: "Cycling is a vital element of all school travel plans and safety is paramount. This route will make a massive difference in improving safety for cyclists, which hopefully will encourage more students to use their bicycles to get to college and gain the benefits for their health, the environment and saving money."Pilton Community College head teacher Mark Juby said: "We have waited for a long time for this cycle link and we are delighted that it is now open. It will mean our students being safer on their journeys to and from school. It is great to see so many of our students cycling -- it is such a healthy activity, environmentally friendly and of course great fun. This cycling initiative is encouraging many members of staff to rethink their ways of getting to school."Cycling is also being encouraged at the College through other work, such as the introduction of ssafe cycle parking.