Devon and Somerset county councils submit £8m funding bids

Image caption It is hoped the funding will improve tourists' access to Exmoor and neighbouring Dartmoor

Improvements to the transport network in Exmoor, Dartmoor and Bridgwater could be made if two government bids totalling £8m are successful.

Devon and Somerset county councils have submitted a £3.6m bid to improve train services between Minehead to Taunton and Exeter to Okehampton.

A second bid of £4.3m has been made to build cycle routes in Bridgwater by Somerset County Council.

It is hoped the bids will boost tourism and help reduce traffic congestion.

The total cost of the Two Moors Sustainable Visitor Travel project will cost about £7.9m, and the Moving Bridgwater Project is estimated at £7.9m.

'Travel hubs'

The remaining balances will come from Somerset County Council, developer contributions, council partners and community groups.

Cabinet member at Somerset County Council, David Hall, said: "On Exmoor and Dartmoor, we and our partners want visitors to be able to explore the wonderful countryside and local attractions.

"We will do this through a range of initiatives to improve the travel infrastructure, including creating seven travel hubs, six new cycle ways and providing bike trailers for community transport vehicles to use."

The fund for Bridgwater will be used to build six miles of cycle routes, including one running from North Petherton to Bridgwater. The rest of the money will be put aside as a community fund.

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