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Union Road, Exeter E4 Strategic Cycle Network: Public consultation report 2021


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Executive summary

This report provides a brief summary of the feedback received for the Exeter E4 Union Road consultation. It highlights key points raised for each of the scheme elements and Devon County Council’s responses to the feedback received. You can read the full consultation report here.

Devon County council held a public consultation on improving walking and cycling facilities on Union Road and Stoke Hill roundabout between Monday 7 June and Tuesday 13 July 2021.

The public consultation information and a consultation questionnaire were available online on Devon County Council’s Have Your Say website.

Leaflets/postcards were distributed to over 800 local residents, businesses, and key stakeholders.

An online consultation webinar event was held on Tuesday 15 June 2021. This was attended by 22 people and a recording of the presentation and FAQs uploaded on the website.

Almost 730 public responses were received online. Responses were also received from a number of key stakeholders including the Saunders Convenience Store, Devonshire Place Residents’ Association, Pure Land Buddhist Centre, Mount Pleasant Health Centre, The University of Exeter, Exeter Civic Society, Exeter and District Bus Users’ Group and the Exeter Cycling Campaign.

The responses from key stakeholders are summarised below:

Devonshire Place Residents’ Association supported the proposed improvements for pedestrians and cyclists. Members were concerned that removing all the parking spaces from Union Road would increase parking pressures on the surrounding streets. The Association believed making Devonshire Place one-way would inconvenience residents wishing to access their properties and increase vehicle speeds as drivers use the streets as a ‘rat-run’/faster route south. However, it was felt the proposals would improve traffic flow on a street with many parked vehicles.

The Pure Land Buddhist Centre believed the south side of Union Road would be more suitable for the segregated cycle lane. They also had concerns about increased speeds, increased congestion at Stoke Hill roundabout and impact on parking. They wanted some parking to serve visitors to the Centre retained.

Saunders Convenience Store were concerned about losing on street parking and wanted short stay parking spaces in the vicinity retained. The Store also wanted the loading bay on Union Road retained at its current size.

The Mount Pleasant Health Centre strongly supported the changes at Stoke Hill roundabout and the proposed segregated cycle path on Union Road.

Exeter Civic Society broadly supported the proposals. They did raise concerns with the section of shared use path, instead suggesting that adjacent 3rd party land be secured. They supported the removal of parking on Union Road but wanted to see alternative measures to slow vehicles speeds.

Exeter Cycling Campaign supported the proposals, highlighting the scheme would encourage more and less confident cyclists to cycle. The campaign suggested alternative proposals at the bus stops on Union Road and recommended dedicated phases to cater for cycle movements at the Pennsylvania Road junction.

The Exeter and District Bus Users’ Group highlighted the need for large vehicles to navigate the Stoke Hill roundabout. The group believed the removal of parking on Union Road would improve the flow of public transport, but that the positioning of the bus stops and loading bay could be improved.

Overall, approximately 75% of the 727 public respondents were in favour of improvements to pedestrian and cycle facilities around Stoke Hill/Union Road, 20% against and 5% were neutral.

Many respondents agreed that the current layout of the Stoke Hill Roundabout needed improving. A great number believed the improvements to the roundabout at Stoke Hill would improve the safety of pedestrians and cyclists, with additional pedestrian crossings particularly welcomed.

However, the proposed double mini roundabouts generated mixed views, with some respondents concerned about safety and increased congestion. There was also a desire from many respondents to retain or offset any loss of trees on the roundabout.

The segregation of cyclists on Union Road was supported. The proposed shared use sections generated more concerns, although some respondents recognised this may be all that is achievable within the available space.

The location of the bus stops and shared use arrangements in the vicinity of those stops and the Convenience Store were identified as possible areas where the design could be improved.

Respondents also wanted to see speed calming measures on Union Road to offset the calming impact provided by parked cars, suitable provision for pedestrians to cross and access from side roads onto the cycle route.

The proposed removal of parking on Union Road generated the strongest feedback, with many local residents concerned regarding the loss of on-street parking.

Those who travelled through Union Road broadly welcomed the removal of parked vehicles, saying it would improve visibility and traffic flow.

A number of mitigation proposals were identified:

Converting 2 hour limited waiting to resident parking was supported, although to increase flexibility these could be 2-hour parking or Permit-Holders-Only.

Moving Union Road into S4 area generated a range of views, with concern about the impact on adjacent streets and making loading and servicing more difficult for those living on Union Road. To mitigate the impact, some suggested giving Union Road residents access to the S4 and G zones.

The provision of Car Club spaces was supported, although the consultation questionnaire suggested less than 30% of people may use such a facility.

Providing short stay spaces in the vicinity of the shop was supported and identified as a sensible location for EV charging points and cycle parking.

Many respondents supported integrating cyclist movements into the Pennsylvania Road traffic light junction and wanted to see dedicated green time for cyclists to enter and exit the proposed cycle way from different routes. A number of respondents also wanted to see the proposals provide more facilities for pedestrians.

Typical concerns revolved around reducing the capacity of the junction and the potential for extra queuing along Union Road. Concerns were also raised around conflicts for vehicles making the right turn up Pennsylvania Road or the left turn for cyclists on Union Road wishing to go down Pennsylvania Road.

Many respondents questioned the connectivity of the route on the western side of the junction and were keen to see the cycle path being extended, connecting to the University.

In conclusion, the public consultation has generated a significant amount of constructive feedback on the proposals. These comments and the responses summarised above will help inform the next stage of design for the E4 cycle route on Union Road and Stoke Hill roundabout.

Key themes to the responses have been summarised in the Stoke Hill, Union Road, Parking and Pennsylvania Feedback Action tables. Where the project team are not able to take on feedback into the detailed design, justification has been provided.

Action tables

These tables explain how the comments raised in this consultation will be actioned or justifies why these proposals are not suitable in the described instance. The first table is specific only to the proposals to improve Stoke Hill roundabout.

Stoke Hill roundabout action table


* = In the proposals
** = Will consult/develop further
*** = Not appropriate

Stoke Hill roundabout consultation commentsResponse/comments
Paint the mini roundabout on to the road surface or
have very gentle humps only


Given that a double mini roundabout would be regularly used by buses & HGV’s, painted white circles are recommended and not domed.

DMRB CD116 paragraph 5.6.3 states:

“A domed white circle should be avoided for mini-roundabouts regularly overrun by heavy goods vehicles or buses in residential areas.
The use of a domed white circle can lead to the perception of vibration by residents and discomfort to bus drivers and passengers.”


Highlight the priority on the crossings for pedestrians and cyclists – bright colours, clear signage, and flashing lights*


Road markings for the Parallel crossings will be provided in accordance with standard layouts given in the DfT Traffic Signs Manual. Vehicles must give way to any pedestrian or cyclist on the crossing, and pedestrians and cyclists establish precedence by stepping / cycling onto the crossing. Illuminated Belisha beacons / yellow globes will be provided at each end of the crossings.

Retain or relocate the trees on the roundabout***


The existing trees would need to be removed for a double mini roundabout.

Plant trees and shrubs along Prince Charles road*


We will explore options to mitigate any lost vegetation on the roundabout. This will be considered further in the next stage of design e.g., new tree planting along Prince Charles Road, based on the principle of planting three new trees to replace each tree removed.

Plant trees and shrubs at the wider kerbs of the roundabout***


We would not recommend any planting in the areas around the mini roundabouts.

The wider curbs on the roundabout are designed to provide extra space for pedestrians and cyclists and it would not be suitable to block this space.
Any planting in the verge areas could provide an obstruction to driver visibility, especially of other roundabout arms when approaching the junction.

Clearly mark priority at (side road) junctions*


The parallel crossings will be signed on the approaches to the roundabout.

In addition, blue mini-roundabout signs will be provided in advance of the mini-roundabout on each approach. This sign is accompanied by the transverse give way markings at the junction.
Warning of the approach to a mini roundabout can also be provided using the roundabout ahead signs which are currently present at the Union Road and Old Tiverton Road arms of the existing roundabout.

Move bus stop up Stoke Hill and away from roundabout crossing*


A suitable location for northbound bus stop on Stoke Hill to be explored further. We will review the layout of the relocated Stoke Hill bus stop.

Raise the crossings at the roundabout (especially Tiverton Road arm) to improve cycle connectivity, indicate priority and suppress speeds*


Our recommendation would be to not raise the crossings at the roundabout.

DMRB CD116 paragraph 5.18 states:

“Any vertical deflection for traffic calming at a mini-roundabout shall take the form of a speed table with the following requirements:

1) the top of the speed table covers the whole junction area; and

2) extends outwards a minimum of 6 metres upstream of each give way line”.
A raised table which covers the whole junction area may present a safety issue as it is considered there could be potential for HGVs / buses to overrun the adjacent footways when making turning movements. If a raised table across the junction was provided this would create issues regarding collecting surface water run-off from the carriageways.

Move the crossings back from the roundabout*


Recognised this would reduce queueing and congestion on the roundabout – but may inconvenience some pedestrians/cyclists. To be considered further on those arms where there is scope to do so. Given number of bus movements may be sensible to place some at a distance such that a bus would not block the junction.

Adjustments to Parallel crossing locations is to be considered following further traffic modelling.
From an initial review, it is considered there would be limited scope to adjust the locations of the crossings on Old Tiverton Road, Union Road and Mount Pleasant arms of the roundabout given the constraints of available land & footway widths at these locations.

Highlight priority between pedestrians and cyclists on the east side of Tiverton road (narrow pathway)***


Available land widths restrict the opportunity to widen the Old Tiverton Road east side footway.

Tactile paving is proposed to highlight where the footway joins the shared cycleway / footway. Dropped kerbs and road markings are also proposed to allow cyclists to exit and re-join the highway.

Traffic Signs Manual Chapter 6 states:
“Although the waiting areas for pedestrians and cyclists are separate at a Parallel crossing, this area should be treated as shared‑use” it is therefore considered that a priority for pedestrians should not be highlighted.

Union Road action table

Please note that Pennsylvania Junction and Parking are included separately.


* = In the proposals
** = Will consult/develop further
*** = Not appropriate

Union Road – segregated cycle path, pavements, bus stops and parkingSuggested response, comments
Traffic calming measure to reduce speeds and improve pedestrian safety **
Traffic calming features will be considered in the next design stage. As union Road is a bus route any traffic calming measures will be designed to be compatible with bus service operation.
Speed suppression to replace parked cars slowing traffic**
Traffic calming features will be considered in during the next design stage.As Union Road is a bus route any traffic calming measures will be designed to be compatible with bus service operation.
Speed humps at crossing points**
This will be considered in the next design stage
Put the cycle lane on the south side and make all south-side roads one-way***
A south side cycle lane was reviewed but was not considered preferable due to the number of side road crossings.A cycle route on the north side also provided opportunity to widen narrow footways near Sylvan Road for a shared use cycleway.
Make Union Road one-way***
It is not considered suitable to create a one-way system on Union Road due to the high traffic volumes, limited alternative vehicular routes and because Union Road operates as a two-way route for bus services, which would split stops and reduce accessibility.
Buy land from gardens; create high quality cycle network***
Land negotiations are complicated and expensive, the option of third-party land is not considered appropriate where there is an alternative solution.In addition, the majority of gardens on the north side are higher than the footway and to widen into the gardens would require significant works and retaining walls.
A cycle lane should be provided on both sides***
A dedicated cycle lane on both sides utilises more road space than a two-way cycle path and could not be provided while retaining space for two-way traffic.
Only provide a single eastbound cycle lane***
This would not provide a high-quality cycle path in both directions on Union Road.
The cycle lane and pavement should be on different sides***
Union Road has residential properties and businesses which require safe pedestrian access, which means a footway is required on both sides of the road.
Additional crossings***
The proposals introduce a new zebra crossing near Mitchell Retirement Home and a new zebra and cycle crossing near Stoke Hill Roundabout.In addition, the existing zebra crossing adjacent to Saunders store is retained.


It is considered this will provide sufficient controlled crossing points on Union Road.

Side Road crossings**
Side Road crossing treatments will be reviewed further at the next design stage. Subject to available funding, raised table side road crossings for pedestrians on the south side of Union Road will be considered – similar to the existing arrangement at the northern end of Devonshire Place.
Replace zebra crossings with pelicans/puffins***
Zebra crossings are suitable in this environment and have less delay for pedestrians and vehicles. Zebra crossings are also consistent with the other crossings along Union Road and around Stoke Hill roundabout.
Retain pedestrian islands near Exonia bowling club***
It is not possible to provide a shared footway/cycleway and a pedestrian refuge island (minimum 1.2m) due to existing width constraints. The position of the new zebra crossing and bus stop, to the west of Culverland Close, will be reviewed to consider whether the crossing can be located closer to Exonia Bowling Club.
Plant trees**
The possibility of planting additional trees at Stoke Hill Roundabout and Prince Charles Road will be investigated in the next design stage.Unfortunately, there are existing utilities and existing drainage sewers which run along both sides of Union Road which will prevent new tree planting along Union Road.
Keep the narrow pavement width outside numbers 65/67 to add extra width opposite outside numbers 86/88 Union Road**
Localised narrowing of the footway width outside property no.’s 65-67 is proposed to provide additional footway/cycle width outside property no.’s 86-88. The extent of footway narrowing is constrained by existing utilities located in footway outside property no.’s 65-67.
Green paint and good quality signage to improve safety and reduce the potential for conflict between peds and cycles.**
Suitable signage and road markings will be provided in accordance with current standards and best practice. Coloured surfacing will be considered where appropriate.
Further extend E4 cycle path*
The E4 route will eventually extend to Exeter St David’s, and preliminary design work on the next section west towards the University is underway.
Schedule the disruption to occur in the summer months**
We will aim to minimise disruption as much as possible, although works may need to be undertaken over a number of months.
The pavements on both sides should be narrowed so pedestrians and cyclists can be completely segregated.***
It is not possible to provide full segregation along the length of Union Road due to the existing width constraints. Where the widths are limited, sections of shared use cycleway are proposed.
Physical segregation or planters*
The proposals include physical segregation, (i.e., buffer kerb), between the cyclists and vehicles.
Improve connectivity of cycle lanes to adjacent streets*
It is proposed to provide gaps or dropped kerbs at suitable points in the cycleway kerbed buffer to allow for cyclists accessing from the southern side roads.
Clearly marked priority for cyclists over side roads*
Suitable signage and road markings will be provided in accordance with current standards and best practice to provide priority for cycles over side roads.Changes in surfacing will also be considered as part of detailed design to distinguish the cycle crossings from the main carriageway.
Bus stops to be moved so not opposite each other**
The locations of the proposed bus stops will be reviewed as part of the next stage of design.
Appropriate signage indicating ped priority on the shared pathway is needed near the bus stops**
The location of the bus stops and layout will be reviewed as part of the next stage of design.Measures to emphasise areas of shared use where passengers will board and alight from buses will be considered, including signage, surfacing materials and ramps to bring cyclists up to footway level and reduce speeds at the bus stops.
Avoid section of shared pathway at bus stops and consider alternative arrangements, i.e., bus passengers alight onto the cycle lane, albeit with priority. Conflict then only occurs when a bus is present.**
The layout of the cycleways crossing the bus stops will be reviewed and options including a shared use bus stop boarder considered as part of the next design stage.
Request Stagecoach remove the designation that the Saunders store is a waiting stop**
We are in frequent discussions with the bus operators and will pursue this further.
More loading bays***
The current loading facilities used by Saunders shop and the Victoria Inn are considered adequate, and no significant changes are proposed.
Retain some parking along south side of Union road for loading for properties.**
Short sections of limited wating parking bays or waiting restrictions indicated by single yellow line markings will be considered as part of the Union Road scheme. After introduction any provision for parking or limited waiting would be monitored to confirm that this would not cause significant issues with congestion along the road.
Move the loading bay adjacent to Saunders Convenience Store into Victoria Street***
Loading provision for loading of large vehicles considered more suitable on Union Road than residential side roads.
The current size of the ‘Saunders’ loading bay should be maintained*
There are no plans to reduce the size of the loading bay.

Action tables for the parking proposals


* = In the proposals
** = Will consult/develop further
*** = Not appropriate

Parking. Suggestions and improvements tableSuggested responses/comments
Split Union Road residents into parking zone S4 and G respectively***


Residents of Union Road are already split between S4 and G. It is considered that there is more capacity in zone S4 to accommodate Union Road residents. However, we could offer those Union Road residents that currently have G permits (Currently only odd house numbers 1-35 have G permits) the choice of S4 or G.

Allow properties on the south side of Union Road to park in the closer G zone.**


Current DCC policy is that you can only have a parking permit for one zone. However, we can offer the current G Union Road residents (18 households in total) the choice of S4 or G.

Retain parking outside shop and Buddhist centre*
It is proposed that 2-hour parking spaces will be retained on Victoria Street and Springfield Road to offer parking for Saunders’ shop and on Culverland Close for the Buddhist Centre.
Convert 2-hour spaces into 2-hour parking or Permit-holders-only***
Consultation responses favoured the approach of converting 2-hour parking spaces to 2-hour parking or permit-holders but introducing dual purpose parking spaces is not considered.
Install more 2-hour parking instead of resident permit?***
The provision of more resident parking was favoured in the consultation over additional 2-hour parking spaces
Retain disabled spaces on Union Road/ relocate disabled spaces on side roads close to Union Road***
Investigation found that the disabled spaces are no longer utilised by disabled permit holders, so no mitigation is proposed for the loss of disabled spaces on Union Road.
Ensure disabled parking and consider not all those with physical impediments are automatically given blue badges***
We recognise that the removal of parking will inconvenience some members of our community more greatly than others but feel that benefit the segregated cycle facility provides to vulnerable users is greater than the disbenefit of not being able to park on Union Road itself.
Painted parking bays in S4 to improve efficient use of road space***
Introduction of road markings in this area has been considered but would involve a significant length of lining and vertical signs which we don’t believe is necessary and would negatively affect the attractiveness of the area.However, where there are concerns of obstructive parking, restrictions can be reviewed for specific locations.
Single or double yellow lines to highlight driveways and access**
New road markings on Union Road will be provided as part of the scheme where appropriate.
Spaces on Union Road and surrounding Streets should be Permit-holders only at all times***
Some short stay parking is considered necessary to serve local facilities (i.e. shop/Buddhist centre) and provide for visitors. It is proposed that 2-hour spaces will be retained on Victoria Street and Springfield Road for parking to Saunders’ shop and on Culverland Close for the Buddhist Centre.
Retain parking for those without permits, and to use these spaces without charge**
This would only be applicable in the 2 hour waiting bays at Victoria Street, Springfield Road and Culverland Close. Short sections of limited wating parking bays or waiting restrictions indicated by single yellow line markings will be considered as part of the Union Road scheme.  Parking in the S4 and G area is also appropriate after 6pm/ during weekends when parking restrictions are lifted.
Car Club membership discounted for those living on Union Road***
DCC will liaise with operators; however, Car Clubs and their pricing are not controlled by DCC.
Bike racks installed at Saunders shop***
Due to width constraints, there is insufficient space to install bike racks on Union Road in vicinity of the Saunders shop.
Provide funding to convert gardens into parking spaces***
Devon County Council would not fund works on private land but do operate an application system for new vehicle crossings / dropped kerbs. It may be possible to incorporate drop kerb accesses into the planned works.
Trial first***
To provide sufficient space for a cycleway the layout of Union Road would need to be adjusted including the footways and kerb lines. It is therefore not possible to carry out a trial of cycle infrastructure on Union Road.
Provide additional parking for Union Road residents in Pennsylvania Road and Prince Charles Road**
It is not suitable to provide parking along Prince Charles Road as this is located in a different parking zone. S4 and G permit holders are able to park along Pennsylvania Road where parking allows.
No permits for properties on Union Road with rear vehicular access***
It would be inappropriate to allocate permit distribution in this way
Reduce permit eligibility in parking zone G***
The policy on parking has recently been reviewed and ration of two permits per property is to remain.
Retain all parking; shared pathway entire length of Union Road***
A shared path would not provide a high-quality cycle route along Union Road or comply with the LTN 1/20 government guidelines on Cycle Infrastructure Design.
Retain some parking*
Short sections of limited wating parking bays or waiting restrictions indicated by single yellow line markings will be considered as part of the Union Road scheme. After introduction any provision for parking or limited waiting would be monitored to confirm that this would not cause significant issues with congestion along the road.
Lobby Exeter University to discourage students from bringing cars to city**
The University of Exeter already discourages students from bringing cars into the city, and Devon CC will continue to liaise with the University to see what additional measures can be introduced to discourage students in bringing their cars to Exeter.
Limit permits issued on Union Road**
Permits are already limited per property.
Limit permits issued to HMOs in the city**
Permits are already limited per property.A virtual / electronic permit system is being developed by Devon County Council.Creating virtual permits may help reduce overlap of permit applications.
Permits more expensive (especially for students)***
It is not possible to charge more against a particular demographic (i.e. students)
Student landlords should install bike racks and provide club car membership to their student tenants***
Would be welcomed, although is not within Devon County Council’s control.
Retain some parking along south side of Union road.**
Short sections of limited wating parking bays or waiting restrictions indicated by single yellow line markings will be considered as part of the Union Road scheme. After introduction any provision for parking or limited waiting would be monitored to confirm that this would not cause significant issues with congestion along the road.

Appendix J – action tables for Pennsylvania junction


* = In the proposals
** = Will consult/develop further
*** = Not appropriate

Pennsylvania Road Junction. Suggestions and improvements table. Incluydes Devonshire PlaceSuggested response/comments
Dedicated cycle lane across junction must be brightly coloured and well-distinguished**


Road markings / coloured surfacing to highlight a cycle lane through the junction will be considered in the next design stage.

Speed suppression measures across junction***


Traffic calming measures are not proposed across the Pennsylvania Road Junction.

Integrate cycle movements into junction, with dedicated green light for cyclists**


Traffic modelling will be undertaken to assess the operation of the signalised junction in the next stage of design. This assessment / modelling will include the provision of a dedicated cycle stage.

Extra pedestrian provision on all four arms of this junction**


Traffic modelling will be undertaken to assess the operation of the signalised junction in the next stage of design to confirm if provision of additional pedestrian crossings are feasible.

Pedestrian crossings have priority over cyclists**


Pedestrians will have their own stage in the signal sequence.

Advanced Stop Lines to be provided on Pennsylvania Road**


To be considered at the next stage of design along with traffic modelling of the junction. However, due to the existing road widths of Pennsylvania Road, cycle lanes on the approach to an advanced stop line could not be provided.

Right filter-lane for vehicles***


There is insufficient width available to include a right turn filter lane at the junction

Accommodate Devonshire Place turning outside light sequence***


The current proposal is to install the traffic signals on Union Road east of Devonshire Place and make Devonshire Place one way southbound.

It is not possible to accommodate a bi-directional cycle lane and locate the traffic signals west of Devonshire Place due existing width constraints.

Counter-flow cycle provision if Devonshire Place one-way***


Due to the proposed traffic signal arrangement and the existing width constraints of Devonshire Place, it will not be possible to include a contra-flow cycle lane along Devonshire Place.

Relocate traffic lights stop points further from the junctions and reduce radii of pavements to create more visibility for pedestrians**


The layout of the kerb line geometry will be assessed as part of the next stage of design to consider opportunities for footway widening whilst maintaining the required space for vehicle turning movements at the junction.

Stop line for cyclists on Union Road closer to Pennsylvania road**
To be considered in the next design stage together with providing required space for vehicle turning movements at the junction.
Dedicated waiting spaces for cyclists complete with suitable signage and paint**
To be considered in the next design stage.
Signage must make drivers aware of cyclists in their blind spots***
The proposed design will be compliant with relevant standards and new road layout signage will be provided.

This shorter version of the report is also available here. ( designed for print purposes only).