Plymouth bike trail backers hand in a petition
SUPPORTERS of the National Trust's plan for a mountain bike trail in Plymbridge Woods have handed a petition to the council.
A group of cyclists presented the 575 signatures to Councillor Philippa Davey, cycling commissioner for Plymouth City Council, last night.
David Lane, a builder from Millbridge, has been cycling for 25 years and fully supports the plans for the trail.
He said: "The main thing this is going to bring is an opportunity for people to learn about mountain biking in a safe environment.
"There's a huge cycling scene in Plymouth. We may not have been as vocal as the opposition but there's a lot of support for the trail."
Mr Lane said he believed opposers of the plans, who believe the route would be a "disaster waiting to happen" and "dangerous", hadn't taken the opportunity to have a look at similar developments in person, such as at Haldon Forest, to see how crossing systems work to slow down cyclists approaching pedestrian areas.
"In other National Trust woodlands the trails have increased and boosted cycling in the area which can only be a good thing. It's not dangerous at all; it's only a blue, intermediate level, trail.
"It will suit all ages, including from my five-year-old right up to grandparents so it's for a whole new generation."
The plans are expected to come before the planning committee tomorrow.
John Allan, an IT consultant from Mannamead, added: "This is the second time it's come up and the National Trust have drastically changed the plans after hearing residents' concerns.
"We are part of the Yogi cycling club and there's 450 members. It will be just brilliant if the plans go ahead. Cycling is a way to get out and it opens up ways of exploring Devon and Dartmoor which you won't have seen before.
"The cycle trail will allow other people to get into the sport, experience it and gain confidence before exploring other trails."
Mr Allan also referred to the danger claims saying that cyclists themselves would be cautious in pedestrian areas as they, too, want to avoid injury.
He added that the trail would allow the National Trust to attract younger visitors to the woodland who may not have used the area in the future.