Bollards and planters installed in Devon in traffic reduction trial

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A trial which aims to reduce traffic has begun at two locations in Devon.

The scheme in Heavitree and Whipton aims to improve conditions for pedestrians and cyclists.

A number of bollards and planters, plus gates to allow buses through are being installed to block off some roads to reduce through-traffic and boost cycling and walking.

Residents will still be able to drive to and from their homes, but may need to use alternative routes to get around the restrictions.

The trial will be for up to 18 months, as part of a temporary arrangement agreed by Exeter’s highways and traffic orders committee in June, while the first six months will be a consultation period for feedback from residents and organisations.

The council says views “will be considered when the time comes to decide whether the scheme should be permanent".

Devon County Council claims the scheme will “improve public health and wellbeing”. However, many local residents are concerned about increased journey times and how much traffic will be pushed onto main roads nearby.

It has been developed following two phases of consultation with local people and businesses, as well as further engagement with local councillors and other key stakeholders.

Gates will be placed on: 

  • Ladysmith Road - at the Park Road roundabout

  • On Whipton Lane - between Whiteway Drive and Georges Close

These gates will allow buses, emergency vehicles, and local authority vehicles to get through. Other vehicles will be banned. 

The bollard/planters will go on: 

  • St Marks Avenue - on the slip road between Ladysmith Road Roundabout and main section of St Marks Avenue

  • On Hamlin Lane - between Wykes Road and Hamlin Gardens

  • On Vaughan Road - between Whipton Lane and Vaughan Rise

A council spokesperson said: “We would like to thank everyone who attended our information events, and for their questions and feedback.

“We recognise the concerns made by some residents, and that’s why we will be trialling it for six months to see how it works in practice.

“More than 2,000 vehicles travel along many of these residential streets each day, deterring  people from cycling or walking.  With this trial, we want to make a safer, cleaner less congested environment for people to walk and cycle.

“No decision will be made regarding any permanent changes until all feedback from the consultation has been considered.”

Local councillor Su Aves said: “As councillors we want to make the whole area a safer and less congested environment for everyone, especially in the rush hours and during school drop off and pick up times, which is very stressful for so many.

“The hope is that overall there will be fewer journeys by vehicle, even though some individual journeys will be longer. This will mean a reduced volume of harmful vehicle emissions overall. This will encourage more people to walk and encourage those who are not confident at cycling to try it.

“Please take part in the consultation and share your experiences of this scheme so that we can make decisions as to what is best for the community overall.”

With support from Ollie Heptinstall, Local Democracy Reporting Service