Pupils at The King’s School, Ottery St Mary are proposing a new shared use cycleway which follows the old railway track starting at Feniton through to Ottery St Mary. This will eventually link up with a continuation through Tipton St John and onto Sidmouth.  This web site is used to help you access up-to-date information about progress.

Spring 2023 Questionnaire

In March/April 2023 the Otter Trail group sought the views of residents’ on cycling in East Devon. The results are now available.

409 people responded to the questionnaire. The principal findings were …

Concerns of Cyclists

By far the two biggest concerns of cyclists were that they felt unsafe cycling, and the lack of safe routes.

  • 73% of respondent indicated that they felt unsafe cycling in the Otter Valley,
  • 79% said that lack of safe routes puts them off cycling.


The most popular suggestion (raised by 49% of respondents) was for dedicated or shared use cycle paths. The next most popular suggestion was to implement measures to make it safer cycling on the roads in the area.

  • 49% wanted more off road or traffic free cycle routes, many citing the Feniton, Ottery, Sidmouth route.
  • 32% wanted to see a range of changes to deliver improved road safety such as – signage, and reduced traffic speeds.

Feasibility Study

otter_trail_studySUSTRANS published a Feasibility Study into the Otter Valley Trail.  Paul Hawkins, the Devon Area Manager for Sustrans, writes:

“The East Devon countryside is a beautiful experience on foot and cycle, and the concept of linking up these communities with a safe route is very appealing and would provide both tourism and local commuting benefits. Delivery of a whole route would be complex, involve many stakeholders and take many years, but with careful planning sections of the route could be delivered to the benefit of local communities.”


Otter Trail

Pupils at The King’s School, Ottery St Mary have proposed a new shared use cycleway which follows the old railway track starting at Feniton through to Ottery St Mary. This will eventually link up with a continuation through Tipton St John and onto Sidmouth.

If there is enough local support now there is a better chance of this happening than ever before. Ottery St Mary have a good record of council, school and community cooperation in making things happen. This has been demonstrated by the successful completion of the Coleridge (Sustrans Connect 2) Bridge, which was recently highlighted as a nationwide example of community led development.

To indicate your support for this proposal please ‘sign’ this petition. If you wish to be kept up to date with developments also tick the adjacent opt-in checkbox. Your email address will not be displayed on this site.

Remember this project will need lots more public support if it's going to succeed.

NOTE: You will be sent an email to the address you enter to allow you to confirm it is correct.

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969 signatures


In The News

  • July 2023: The Otter Trail Group publish the Survey Results
  • March 2023: The Otter Trail Group launch a survey to gauge local residents’ views on cycling in East Devon.
  • February 2023: In an article in Devon Live Councillor Jess Bailey describes the benefits of a Fentiton to Sidmouth shared-use path.
  • November 2022: The Sidmouth Cycling Campaign have launched a short questionnaire with a view to finding out which developments residents of Sidmouth and East Devon would like to see in their locality. The closing date for responses is 31 December 2022.
  • November 2022: A new group – the Sidmouth Cycling Campaign – has been set up to support the cycling developments in and around Sidmouth. The Otter Trail Group are already working with this new group with a view to linking the existing Tipton to the Bowd off-road route into Sidmouth.
  • October 2022: The Otter Trail Group gave an update to Ottery Town Council. The Deputy CEO will write to our two local MPs, Simon Jupp and Richard Foord, to request their support for this project.
  • March 2021: Stuart Hugues (the DCC Cabinet Member for Highway Management) has writen in the Midweek Herald supporting the Otter Trail.
  • March 2017: SUSTRANS publish their report ‘Sidmouth and East Devon – Cycle Network Study’. The report has been provided to the team developing the Sidmouth Neigbourhood Plan. The study explores options to improve the ‘porosity’ of Sidmouth for pedestrian and cycle movements. Sustrans indicate that ‘The critical issue is crossing the A3052 … and our preferred option would be for a bridge … this has the potential to be a landmark structure advertising Sidmouth’s pride in its environment and encouragement of sustainable transport, and advertising the route and the Otter Trail.’
  • January 2017: The Otter Trail Group and the Transport Section of the Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group have been awarded a Grant by the East Devon ANOB and Councillor Stuart Hughes to commission a SUSTRANS report to recommend improvements to the cycling infrastructure in urban Sidmouth and links to the surrounding countryside. This will include examination of the A3052 crossing near the Bowd.
  • October 2016: Ottery Town Council strongly support the Otter Trail 
  • April 2016: Otter Valley Charity Cycle Ride – see Events page for details
  • March 2016: Councillor Claire Wright kindly provides a Locality Grant to help fund a Civil Engineering assessment of the Works Required on part of the Trail.
  • February 2016: Otter Trail Group AGM – see Events page for details
  • January 2015: Devon County Council discusses 15 Year Transport Plans
  • 2015_January_PTE_14_62_Place_Scrutiny (see page 20 & 21)
  • 2015_January_PTE_15_1_Place_Scrutiny_Appendix (see page 6)
  • August 2014: Thursday Bike Rides
  • May 2014: Community Bike Ride Report
  • April 2014: SUSTRANS publish a Feasibility Study on the Otter Valley Trail
  • October 2013: Claire Wright reports on the Family Fun Ride in our Newsletter
  • October 2013: Family Fun Ride
  • August 2013: Jo Elliot pens the latest Newsletter
  • July 2013: The Otter Trail is featured in the Express and Echo
  • July 2013: The Ottery Gazette publishes an article by Simon Stokes on the Otter Trail
  • June 2013: The Otter Trail Group launch an on-line petition to allow the public to register their support.
  • May 2013: SUSTRANS select Ottery’s Connect 2 Bridge as one of the best examples of community development in the country.
  • Nov 2012:  CTC Exeter Newsletter
  • Oct 2012:  Express & Echo
  • Sep 2012: Local Councillor Claire Wright Supports Trail
  • Jul 2012:  Ottery Gazette


Contact Us

If you would like to become involved or learn more about the Trail please contact us.

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