Environment

Summer Lane in Exeter re-opened

Photo of the new bridge at Summer Lane

Posted on: 20 January 2021

Summer Lane in Exeter has re-opened to through traffic today (Wednesday 20 January) as the finishing touches are applied to the new pedestrian and cycle bridge.

The bridge will open to pedestrians and cyclists next month, once the installation of handrails and guardrails has been completed.

The new 18-metre span structure will link the first two kilometres of Devon County Council’s E4 cycle route. This section of the cycle route links seamlessly with the high-quality segregated cycle route already completed along Cumberland Way, Pinhoe Road and Exhibition Way, providing a vital connection to Exeter Arena/Exhibition Fields and Bettysmead Playing Fields plus local schools, community centres and sports facilities.

One of the aims of Devon County Council’s Transport Strategy for Exeter is for 50% of all Exeter journeys to work and education to be made by foot or bicycle by 2030. The E4 cycle route will make it easier and safer for people to walk and cycle, while reducing traffic and carbon emissions.

During lockdown, a 12% increase in cycling was recorded in Exeter, rising to 35% when restrictions were eased. It is anticipated that with infrastructure such as the E4 cycle route, cycling will continue to gain popularity as a travel choice for leisure journeys as well as travelling to work and education.

Photo of Councillor Stuart Hughes

Councillor Stuart Hughes

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “I’m sure everyone will be pleased that Summer Lane can now safely re-open and we’re looking forward to the bridge opening next month. The road has had to be closed while work was carried out on site and the bridge installed, and we apologise for the disruption that has been caused. This pedestrian and cycle bridge will prove to be a great asset for local residents and continuing to piece together these strategic routes will make it much easier for people to make short journeys on foot or by bike.”

Photo of Councillor Hilary Ackland

Councillor Hilary Ackland

Councillor Hilary Ackland, County Councillor for Pinhoe and Mincinglake, said: “The E4 cycle route is playing its part in the development of Exeter as a safe walking and cycling city. The pandemic has highlighted that exercise in the fresh air-walking and cycling – is so important for mental as well as physical health. The safe corridor of the E4 route, extended by this marvellous bridge, can only be good news for residents.”

The E4 cycle route will eventually connect the east of Exeter to the city centre and University, and further proposals for Stoke Hill, Union Road and Pennsylvania Road currently in development.

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