Work starts on air quality improvement scheme

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

Posted on: 6 January 2021

Work on a scheme to improve air quality in Ivybridge is getting underway today (Wednesday 6 January).

The B3213 Western Road has been highlighted as an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) meaning that the air quality does not meet required standards.

Traffic congestion is an issue on Western Road, with on-street parking reducing the width of the road between the St John’s Road/Bowden Park crossroads and Marjorie Kelly Way roundabout. Idling engines from vehicles waiting to pass the parked cars contribute to the poor air quality.

Devon County Council and South Hams District Council have worked closely to design the scheme to improve the air quality within the area, with the removal of on-street parking in Western Road identified in South Hams District Council’s ‘Air Quality Action Plan’.

Parking bays will be removed and relocated to a 22-space off-street parking area on the verge at Wayside, after the demolition of the “old fire station” building.

Footpaths will be widened for pedestrians and a zebra crossing will be installed between Park Street and Clare Street.

Photo of Councillor Stuart Hughes

Councillor Stuart Hughes

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “The aim of the scheme is to improve traffic flow. Moving the on-street parking to an off-street area will achieve this, which will in turn improve air quality in the area. Improving pavements and crossing facilities for pedestrians will also make it easier for people to access the town centre on foot.”

Photo of Councillor Jonathan Hawkins Councillor Jonathan Hawkins, Executive Member for Health and Well Being and Environmental Health at South Hams District Council, said: “It has taken years of hard work and planning for South Hams District Council and Devon County Council to find a resolution to the air quality and pedestrian access issues on Western Road, Ivybridge. Both councils have worked together to achieve early investment and a land transfer so that the demolition of the old Fire Station can occur and new parking created. Crucially, wheelchair access past the old Fire Station building will be improved, which has been a long-standing issue. Reducing the traffic congestion on the way into Ivybridge will also dramatically improve air quality for residents and pedestrians, to the benefit of their long-term health and wellbeing.”

Work, which is being carried out by contractor Glendinning Ltd on behalf of Devon County Council, is expected to take 16 weeks.

Parking along Western Road will not be permitted while work is being carried out and temporary traffic lights will be in place. Access to and from Park Street and Clare Street from Western Road will be closed throughout the duration of the scheme, and instead they will be accessed via Keaton Road.

Some overnight closures from 7pm to 6am will be needed and these will be advertised in advance.

Drainage improvements, resurfacing and installation of street lighting will also be carried out as part of the scheme.

Posted in: Community | Environment