The National Trust today (Thursday 13th September 2012) confirmed that it will be shortly submitting a planning application to Plymouth City Council to develop a new 4km off-road single-track cycle trail and increase parking spaces within the existing car park in Plymbridge Woods.
This new moderate (blue) grade cycle trail will be ideal for people looking for a more adventurous leisure ride exploring the woodlands alongside the River Plym. Most importantly this cycle trail links up to the existing Route 27 Sustrans Trail in the valley bottom which is already popular with families and can be ridden either in a 6km loop or as part of a wider cycle ride along theSustrans Route.
The Trust has conducted a series of public consultations including the formation of a stakeholder group. This work and involvement of many local people and organisations has helped the Trust pull together what it strongly believes are the most appropriate plans for Plymbridge balancing the needs of different users of the site. The Trust is extremely grateful to all who have given up their time and contributed their thoughts and views.
The application includes re-shaping theNational Trustcar park on the Plympton side of the river to increase car parking spaces although the aim of the project is to encourage new users to arrive by bike. In the longer term the Trust will be working with other local partners to seek to provide visitor ‘gateway’ facilities such as a café, toilets and cycle hire at Coypool.
The Trust is committed to encouraging wider enjoyment of the countryside long-term. At Plymbridge we feel this new adventurous cycling offer complements the existing cycling facility of route 27 whilst not impacting unduly on other users of the woods and that the proposed trail will be of real benefit to many existing and new visitors to the site.
The National Trust is maintaining its commitment to helpingPlymouthresidents and visitors to the area to enjoy cycling. As well as the plan for the new cycle trail in Plymbridge Woods, we are involved in other cycling projects inPlymouthsuch as the BMX project at Marsh Mills, which was originally an idea from local young people inPlymouth. The Trust is working closely with Plymouth Youth Services, Plymouth City Council, Network Rail, Sustrans, Environment Agency and the local community to develop the BMX trail at Marsh Mills.
The development at Plymbridge is part of the Trust’s ‘Getting Outdoors and Closer to Nature’ programme – enabling the Trust to improve and diversify people’s access and enjoyment of its land through more opportunities for walking, cycling, kayaking, camping and other recreational activities.
Mark Harold, National Trust Regional Director said: “Enabling people to explore and enjoy our properties more fully and in different ways is a real priority for us in the South West and we believe that this off road cycling trail at Plymbridge will really add to the enjoyment of these beautiful woods for those that cycle there already and for new audiences too.”
Paul Hawkins from 1 South West Cycling said: “The original trail proposals proved controversial but a lot of thought has gone into considering concerns that were raised, two key ones being reducing shared use paths and reducing proximity to residences. We are confident that the new scaled down plans will still lead to many people enjoying and valuing the woodlands, and at the same time add weight to the case for a visitor gateway at Coypool.”
Development of the cycle trail and car-park will be funded through the Rural Development Programme forEnglandandNational Trustinternal funds. TheNational Trustwill be making a significant contribution covering the cost of car park works and some of the trail work. Ongoing management and maintenance of the trails will be carried out by theNational Trustand it’s staff.
Plymbridge has its own Facebook site where you’ll find all the latest information on the proposed project. The Planning Application Reference number will be posted here as soon as available, along with details of how to submit your comments to Plymouth County Council and the deadline. Keep in touch with the project on theirFacebook page or their Twitter page If you have a specific enquiry please email the National Trust atPlymvalley@nationaltrust.org.uk or call 01752 341377.