Backing for congestion busting scheme in Ivybridge

Photo of traffic in Western Road, Ivybridge Western Road, Ivybridge

Posted on: 15 May 2019

A scheme to improve air quality and tackle traffic congestion in Ivybridge has been approved by Devon County Council’s Cabinet.

Western Road (B3213), in Ivybridge, suffers from congestion due to the width of the road being reduced by on-street parking between the A38 roundabout and Marjorie Kelly Way roundabout. This pinch-point causes traffic queues which have contributed to the road being classified as an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA).

The removal of on-street parking in Western Road is identified in South Hams District Council’s ‘Air Quality Action Plan’.

A public consultation held earlier this year found that among those who responded, the majority of people supported the need to improve traffic flow along Western Road.

The preferred scheme, which has been approved by councillors, was to relocate the on-street parking and provide 22 parking spaces on land where the former fire station building is located, and also on the verge between Wayside and Western Road. Most of those who responded to the consultation also wanted the parking spaces to be included within an existing parking permit zone.

As part of the scheme, the pavement on the northern side of the road between the former fire station and Marjorie Kelly Way will also be widened, and a zebra crossing will be installed between Park Street and Clare Street.

Councillor Stuart Hughes

Councillor Stuart Hughes

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “The relocation of this on-street parking will ease congestion and improve the air quality on this main route into and out of Ivybridge. It’s also an opportunity to improve active travel in the town with widened pavements and a new zebra crossing included in the scheme proposals.”

Councillor Roger Croad

Councillor Roger Croad

Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Councillor for Ivybridge, said: “This scheme will improve access to and egress from the town and it will benefit the residents on Western Road that are in the Air Quality Management Area, by reducing levels of Nitrogen Dioxide and improving traffic flow. Widening the pavements will also make it safer for pedestrians and will improve disabled access to and from the town.”

6 comments on “Backing for congestion busting scheme in Ivybridge

  1. Graham Wilson says:

    As regular user of Western Road both as a cyclist and motorist, this scheme will attract more people to drive and discourage walking and cycling. This contravenes DCC policy for Climate Emergency. Motorists will drive faster because there are no parked cars to slow them down but the road is still too narrow for the volume of traffic, especially vulnerable users. For residents and pedestrians, the footpath on the south side is too narrow and will feel intimidating with cars and heavy vehicles travelling at 30mph. For cyclists, the existing surface on the south side has many drain covers which are set too low and, to avoid these, cyclists have to move into the middle of the road. Currently motor vehicles don’t overtake because there is no room, however, the new width will create aggression from motorists towards cyclists. This will encourage close passing which is against the law where penalties are 3+ points on licence and fines.

  2. John Pope says:

    It is ironic that there is a link on this page to “celebrate-cycling-in-Devon-during-bike-week” but this scheme does nothing to address the needs of cyclists, at a time when people are being encouraged to cycle to work and children are being encouraged to cycle to school – both for their health and to reduce traffic.

  3. Kate STELFOX says:

    Well the councillors, to whom this does not effect, have made a decision on our behalf but have not taken into account any of the concerns raised. At no point during the heated debate did I hear one resident (who actually lives on western rd) say they were in favour of removing the parking. I feel we have been totally ignored , you made your decision well before the consultation. Surely putting in a zebra is still creating stop starts and therefore congestion. I’m hoping councillors Croad and councillors Hughs are going to be around each Saturday afternoon to help me carry my shopping , that’s if I can get a parking space.

  4. Anna Wearden says:

    This is a great disappointment. The public were clearly not listened to, it feels the meeting was held with the decision having already been made by those it least affects. If proper research was carried out it would be clear the buses & traffic lights cause the big issue, but then you can’t find what you’re not looking for.

  5. Pat Wearden says:

    It would appear that the decision has been made concerning the parking on Western Road, but I am of the opinion that another access road from the A38 for Ivybridge would be the best solution.

    As the third question on the questionnaire was most probably a “Yes” from people I feel that the arguments against removing parking have possibly not been looked into more carefully. A well thought out questionnaire!

    I attended the public consultation and actually went back to clarify a couple of points. I did not get the feeling from the public present on both occasions that the general concensus was to remove parking.

    It is heartening to note that residents concerns were noted and that a zebra crossing is to be included in the proposals. However, I cannot see how that would improve air quality for the residents between Clare Street and Park Street.
    These are the properties most affected by the air quality and they will still have cars idling to allow people to cross the road.
    I do not feel that comments from residents have been taken on board as it is the roundabout at the western end of the road and the traffic lights that cause the most build up of traffic, not the parked cars.
    Traffic will still build up, especially at peak times, with traffic travelling west, the parked cars do not cause the idling of cars along the southern side of Western Road which (as I have stated) is the most affected.

  6. Sally Penn says:

    This was not the general consensus from the public consultation meeting! The public agreed that there was need to improve air quality but that the issue was with the buses and traffic lights by St John’s Road and not the bottle neck from the parking. I attended the very heated meeting. And this decision is very different from what the public actually felt.

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