Environment

Devon exploring temporary measures for walkers and cyclists

Photo of a shared pedestrian and cycle path

Posted on: 13 May 2020

A series of temporary measures to support social distancing for walkers and cyclists is being explored by Devon County Council.

It follows the Government’s announcement of a £250 million emergency active travel fund – as the first stage of a £2 billion national investment in walking and cycling.

Although Devon County Council is still awaiting details of the funding, it is actively pursuing a number of possible changes to the local road network to help improve walking and cycling routes.

In considering its proposals, the focus has been on key travel to work routes, town and city centres, as well as local residential and commercial areas. It is looking at narrow pavements which could restrict pedestrian movements and areas where the walking and cycling network can be extended and improved.

“Pop-up” facilities could be installed to provide wider areas for walkers and cyclists while segregating them from traffic.

Parking spaces could be removed in order to widen footpaths and introduce cycleways in:

– Fore Street, South Street and North Street in Exeter;
– Butchers Row, The Strand, Cross Street and Boutport Street in Barnstaple;
– Queen Street and Courtenay Street in Newton Abbot;
– High Street and Bridgeland Street in Bideford.

Among other proposals are the possible introduction of:

– A one-way system in Magdalen Road, Exeter;

– A bus/cycle route in Cowick Street, Exeter;

– Improvements in residential streets between Newcourt to the city centre via the RD&E, and from Sowton to the city centre via Heavitree;

– Measures on Longbridge A3125 in Barnstaple in order to improve the footpath and cyclepath provision;

– Highway improvements on the B3213 Western Road in Ivybridge.

Photo of Councillor Stuart Hughes

Councillor Stuart Hughes

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways Management said: “We welcome the government’s announcement of investment in walking and cycling. This is a great opportunity to embed some of the greener, healthier travel habits we’ve seen during the lockdown and we’re trying to find ways to support people who choose active travel on their return to work.

“We’re continuing to develop these plans to enable their delivery, if possible at the earliest opportunity. We will be liaising with town and parish councils and we will be seeking support from the business community to understand how we can deliver local aspirations for pedestrian and cycling improvements.”

Temporary signals are also being considered to improve crossings on major routes including Rydon Lane at Countess Wear, Church Road in Alphington, A39 Pilton Causeway, A381 Totnes, as well as Ashburton Road, Exeter Road and Jetty Marsh Road in Newton Abbot.

Additional electric Co-Bikes could also be provided in Exeter and extra cycle rack facilities could be installed in town centres.

There is also scope for schemes to be developed which support local community aspirations for improvements.

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