Environment

VideoWork underway on new road layouts to support walking and cycling

Photo of new road layout to support walking and cycling

Posted on: 6 June 2020

Work has started today (Saturday 6 June) on temporary measures to boost walking and cycling in Exeter.

The first improvements being introduced by Devon County Council are along Ludwell Lane, Dryden Road and Wonford Road, where point closures are being installed. This will remove through traffic, except buses and cyclists, to create a 4km “quiet route” from Newcourt/Pynes Hill to the city centre.

The “pop-up” measures are part of a series of schemes supported with initial funding of £338,000 from the Government’s Emergency Active Travel Fund.

The investment aims to encourage active travel while enabling social distancing for walkers and cyclists.

Photo of Councillor Stuart Hughes

Councillor Stuart Hughes

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “It’s great that we’re now underway with these important changes. By taking this opportunity we want to encourage more sustainable forms of transport, and hopefully create a lasting legacy of safe, healthy travel for local residents.

“The lockdown travel restrictions are gradually being eased, but social distancing guidance will remain in place for the foreseeable future, so these improvements for walkers and cyclists are designed with that in mind. The improvements started today have been prioritised to support access to the RD&E Hospital.

Photo of social distancing road layout sign“We’re starting by creating routes that mirror our proposed strategic cycle routes connecting the East of Exeter with Exeter city centre, before moving on to additional changes to the city centre, as well as working across other communities in Devon.”

Other temporary measures which will be introduced over the coming weeks include –

– Making Magdalen Road one-way towards Western Way between St Leonards Road and Denmark Road with a contraflow cycleway and widened footway;

– A 3.5km quiet route from Monkerton/Whipton to the city centre through residential areas in Whipton and Heavitree, connecting housing to major employment sites in the city centre, Sowton and Exeter Science Park. This will be developed by removing through traffic with point closures and / or one-ways on residential streets. A temporary crossing and temporary cycle route on Polsloe Road.

– Improved foot and cycle access to the city centre via South Street, Fore Street and North Street, including widening of footways with temporary barriers on key pedestrian and public transport route to the city centre, including additional space around busy Cowick Street bus stops.

In Barnstaple, temporary restrictions will be introduced to extend the current town centre pedestrianised area. This will support social distancing and improve cycling links into the town centre, with additional pop-up cycle parking facilities. Existing public transport routes will be maintained, and discussions are being held with local stakeholders on proposals to install temporary restrictions to remove traffic except for buses, cycles and emergency vehicles on the A3125 Longbridge.

In Bideford, a temporary one-way system for pedestrians will be introduced on narrow pavements and streets within the town centre. Sections of on-street parking will be removed from the High Street, disabled parking will be introduced on High Street and Bridgeland Street. The road through Manor Park will be closed in order to provide extra space for pedestrians and pop-up cycle parking as well as space for bus passengers to wait safely. A one-way system for pedestrians will incorporate the Longbridge footpaths and a temporary pedestrian crossing will be needed on the A386.

In Newton Abbot, on-street parking will be removed along 450 metres of Queen Street, to enable the widening of footpaths for social distancing. Some parking spaces will be retained, along with some loading bays and bus stops. The scheme reflects aspirations being developed under the Future High Streets Fund.

Temporary crossings will be provided on the East-West Shared Use Path at Exeter Road, Jetty Marsh Road and Ashburton Road. This will improve safety for residents and will encourage sustainable travel on a safe, convenient and direct route to education, employment sites and the town centre.

Over 200 extra cycle parking spaces have been installed across the county, including new spaces in Exeter city centre, at the RD&E, Heavitree, Whipton, Topsham, Newton Abbot, Totnes, Teignmouth, Ivybridge, Barnstaple and Tavistock.

Exeter, Barnstaple, Bideford and Newton Abbot are the main focus for the initial improvements but other market and coastal towns will also have the opportunity to benefit from a share of funding.

Devon will have to submit a bid for a potential £1,351,000 later this summer for more permanent schemes, but schedules for this process are yet to be confirmed by Government.

The traffic calming measures are temporary for a period of up to 18 months. During this time traffic will be monitored and, in consultation with local residents, alterations may be removed if deemed ineffective or made permanent where considered successful.

For more information go to the County Council’s webpages.

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