Tarka Trail users urged to take care as popularity increases during lockdown

The Tarka Trail.

The Tarka Trail. - Credit: Archant

Tarka Trail users are being reminded to take extra care amid increased use of the trail during the second lockdown.

Use of the walking and cycle path has increased compared to last year, according to Devon County Council, with cycle trips on rural sections up 53 per cent, as well as 43 per cent at Fremington Quay.

The council is reminding all users to take extra care and share the space responsibly.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council cabinet member for highway management, said: “It’s excellent to see more people using our off-road walking and cycle trails, and they’re being well used during this latest lockdown.

“The paths provide a great opportunity for people to get outdoors and boost health and wellbeing, but it’s important that people make sure they give each other plenty of room.

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“Providing others with a bit more time and extra space can help everyone enjoy themselves while they’re out and about.

“We would just ask everyone to be alert, be patient and be courteous to each other.”

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Devon County Council’s ‘Share this Space’ advice asks cyclists to pass walkers slowly and carefully, letting people know they are there and giving them space.

Dog walkers are asked to keep dogs under close control.

Earlier this month, North Devon Council opted to scrap plans to ban off-lead dogs on the Tarka Trail after they were met with strong opposition.

A nine-week consultation which gained community views saw nearly 700 respondents complain about cyclists on the Tarka Trail.

A report on the consultation by Tonic said: “Many people said they or their dogs have almost been hit by cyclists. Some said that they have actually collided with cyclists. They expressed that cyclists go too fast and use the trail as a race track, causing dangers for walkers who do not have enough time to get out of the way.”

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