Public consultation on Drumbridges improvements


Posted on: 11 July 2012

A public consultation will start next week on proposals to improve the Drumbridges roundabout on the A38 and the access to Heathfield Industrial Estate.
Traffic congestion is a major issue on the roads around Drumbridges and this will be exacerbated by new developments which are planned to take place in the area.
Devon County Council is seeking views on proposals which include a new footbridge across the A38 as well as improvements to the junctions and pedestrian and cycle facilities. The consultation will run from Monday 16 July until Friday 3 August.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said: “The proposals which are being put forward aim to relieve the current levels of congestion around Drumbridges. The traffic problems at these locations are currently at a point where it is hampering any future development from taking place in the surrounding area until improvements are made. We want people to get involved in this consultation so that we can hear local opinion and that can help inform potential improvements.”
Two informal drop-in events will be held where the proposals will be on show and there will be the opportunity to discuss them with Devon County Council officers.
The events will be held at Heathfield Community Centre on Wednesday 18 July from 2pm until 8pm and Saturday 21 July from 10am until 4pm.
Councillor George Gribble, County Councillor for Bovey Tracey Rural, said: “At peak times the weight of traffic can mean that its queued onto the A38. It really needs to be improved and I’m glad that something’s being done. These proposals will help to resolve the situation and allow traffic to flow.”
Information will be available online from Monday 16 July at Comments can be submitted online and questionnaires can also be filled in at the drop in events. 
For more information email: Alternatively write to:
Jacobs (Drumbridges), Renslade House, Bonhay Road, Exeter, EX4 3AY.

9 comments on “Public consultation on Drumbridges improvements

  1. GeoffB on said:

    Reinstate the capacity that the roundabout was built for. What’s the point of constructing an asset and then cutting it back by 50% with white paint? Dual lanes and the bus stops can work together.

    The Battle Road junction is the culprit causing traffic to back up onto the roundabout; it needs re-engineering.

    If traffic signals have to be introduced please make them peak time only.

  2. Mike and Sara Holliday on said:

    I attended the public consultation along with my wife. Having lived in one of the houses closest to the roundabout for 21 years and regularly travelling through the battle road lights and across the roundabout I can say that the problems are fairly limited and relatively minor. They only started to happen when the previous improvement(?) was completed and the roundabout was dropped to one lane. We are strongly opposed to what we believe is a needless and expensive waste of money targeted in the wrong place and in the wrong way. This work will cause significant disruption and in its current form will inevitably lead to the removal of many trees with the subsequent serious erosion of animal habitat and increase in noise pollution which is already bad enough. There is absolutely no need to add a third lane to the carriageway leading from battle road to the roundabout, and this is from a family that backs onto that part of the road, only about 60ft away from it and so is acutely aware of exactly how busy it gets, it is not that bad and could easily accommodate significantly more traffic if required in its current configuration. Adding a cycle/footbridge alongside the roundabout which does not cross the slip roads either side is madness and a total waste on money. The footbridge is needed further up the A38 where the old Heathfield post office used to be, and please don’t talk about pinch point funding, talk about value for money and common sense instead. Make the roundabout predominantly dual lane except for the short part where the new footbridge is currently planned and use that lane to widen the pathway. Add foot crossing lights at the two slip roads to allow safe passage if needed. Add the footbridge where it is really needed up the A38 toward Exeter where the old post office used to be. Leave the trees as they are, we have lost enough recently anyway and I am sure that the siskins, bull finches, goldfinches, crossbills, sparrows, owls (which we lost following the tree felling for the school!), blackbirds, and many other species will be glad of the habitat! Considering the state of the economy and escalating fuel costs from overuse and looking to the future we should be improving public transport. Improving the roads, if it is an improvement, is encouraging more car use, you are making it easier and you should take the decisions that make public car use harder and improve other forms of transport (public transport, car share etc). A token cycle path that goes nowhere at each end is not the right answer. I cycle from Heathfield to Newton Abbot regularly to catch the train, I never cycle across the roundabout and rarely see people cycling across it. In my experience cyclists want to cycle down the old road through Teigngrace which is a safer and far nicer route, not across a busy roundabout (with or without a better cycle path). Establish where the cyclists are actually going, they will not start detouring across the roundabout because of the inclusion of a few hundred yards of extra cycle path, they will continue to cross the dual carriageway further down as do most recreational walkers, dog walkers and runners currently. I would be interested to see the underlying data that underpins this plan, considering the country is in recession and the methods used to inform the core strategy thus far I would question if the traffic increase currently predicted will even happen.

  3. Peter and Julia Barker on said:

    We agree with re-introducing two lanes on the roundabout as this by itself can help to reduce congestion because drivers entering from the A38 will be aware of where traffic is going. Traffic sensitive lights would be an advantage and would possibly negate the need for a pedestrian/cyclist bridge.
    The fences at the other junctions actually slow traffic unnecessarily because it is difficult to see what is already on the roundabout.
    We fail to see the point of bus stops on the roundabout as the main service for Bovey Tracey and Heathfield is well served by stops in Battle Road and near Trago Mills.
    Will the widening of the north bound slip road affect the school and some of the nearby houses both of which are very close to the road?
    If option 2 for the Battle Road junction is adopted, extra pressure would be put on the Old Newton Road and the Pottery Road roundabout as any traffic from Heathfield wanting access to Bovey Tracey or the Esso garage would be forced down this route.

    • Thank you for your comments Peter and Julia Barker.

      The bus stops on Drumbridges roundabout are not only used by the Bovey Tracey bus services, but also the X38 services between Plymouth and Exeter. This is an express service and there are no alternative bus stops which they can use without diverting further from their route.

      Widening the northbound slip road is likely to move the road closer the houses and school. Detailed design will determine how much closer and the potential to minimise this will be investigated. We will also work to minimise any impacts of moving the road closer to homes and the school.

      Your comments have been passed to the transport planning team to be considered as part of the consultation.

  4. Robert Purdie on said:

    My immediate reaction, having visited this web address at your invitation by letter, is WHAT proposals??. What are you planning to do?
    You say you are having a consultation for a period of 19 days but only spending 12 HOURS of that time, spread over 2 days, with local residents at your ‘drop-ins’
    It strikes me that what will happen is what is GOING to happened and that is already ‘cut-and-dried’. The comments of your 2 ‘councillors have already made this much clear by their obviously well informed stance ‘in agreement’ as stated in your passage above.
    19 days is TOO SHORT a time for deciding what will last for many years following and I dont want to see another duplicate of the M5 at Exeter and one of your ‘bridges to nowhere’
    Has it perhaps occurred to you that the ‘development’ you want to press on with is exactly what caused what we now have to re-develop
    Stop developing roads. Create traffic systems out of what we have
    There wont be many cars on the road soon, like there arent many horses

    • Thank you for your comment Mr Purdie.

      The Drumbridges roundabout does not have the capacity in its current form. Traffic currently causes congestion at the roundabout leading to queuing on all routes, particularly towards the Battle Road junction.

      We need to improve the roundabout and access to Heathfield Industrial Estate because the major issue of traffic congestion in the area will only be worsened by new developments which are planned as part of Teignbridge District Council’s Core Strategy Preferred Options.

      Research has shown that once these developments are built this would subsequently increase to the point where queues would extend further, impacting on the slip roads and the A38, so the improvements are a critical requirement to ensure the local road network runs efficiently now and in the future.

      We are not developing a new road, the proposals include improvements to the existing road and traffic system – for example re-introducing a two lane circulatory route around the roundabout and improving driver information with road signs and markings. We are also looking at providing additional lanes on the approaches to the roundabout, upgrading the junction at Battle Road and introducing traffic signals.

      We are also committed to improving travel choice by promoting alternative transport modes, so the proposals also include a new safer off road pedestrian and cycle route over the A38 and improvements to the bus stops at the roundabout to make them more accessible.

      Full outline proposals, including scheme plan drawings, can be viewed online at, and questions can be emailed to

      The views of our residents are important to us and the feedback from this consultation will help decide how to progress this scheme over the next few months.

  5. peter bignell on said:

    while looking at this development, can you include some level of lighting at the chudleigh Knighton turning.
    the junction point is quite frankly lethal… you cannot see the junction during the winter months and literally have to guess where to turn off.
    Also oncoming traffic from Bovey/Kingsteignton cannot see traffic at the junction point… hence why the traffic island gets flattened on a regular basis.
    i am a very experienced driver who has covered up to 35000 miles a year and can honestly say it is one of the worst sliproads i have ever used.
    i appreciate it doesn’t fit exactly with this remit but would make sense to include as part of the safety improvements for thsi area.
    it simply needs a light at the top and bottom of the sliproads to make them safe.
    thank you

    thank you

    • Thank you for your comment Mr Bignell.

      A bid for funding is being made to the Department for Transport, through its ‘Pinch Points Programme’. The guidance for this programme states that money granted should target the worst points where the network is under particular stress, and locations that are key to supporting economic growth. If granted, the funding would not accommodate extending work beyond the remit outlined.

      However, the improvements you identify could be carried out by the Highways Agency, who is responsible for the A38. They can be contacted by calling 08459 55 65 75 or emailing

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