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Active Streets Heavitree and Whipton Trial scheme given green light to proceed


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Councillors have given a trial traffic scheme, which will remove through traffic from Heavitree and Whipton’s key residential areas, the greenlight.   

Members of the Exeter Highways and Traffic Orders Committee voted in support of the Active Streets Heavitree and Whipton Trial Scheme when they met on June 20.  

Once the trial begins, the first six months will be a statutory consultation period, which will enable local residents and stakeholders to provide feedback on the changes and inform next steps.

The temporary scheme will involve physical ‘modal filters’ (bollards or planters) and bus gates being placed at key locations in the Heavitree and Whipton residential area. 

These will reduce traffic on residential streets and support local people who want to walk, wheel, scoot or cycle.

All properties within the area will remain accessible by car, but residents may need to use different routes for some journeys.  

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

Consultees have included the RNIB (Royal National Institute for Blind People), public health clinicians, and emergency services, who were broadly in favour of a scheme to make local residential streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

Local residents will be able to make representations as part of the statutory Traffic Regulation Order process and provide feedback as the trial progresses

Bus gates will be placed on Ladysmith Road, at the Park Road roundabout, and on Whipton Lane, between Whiteway Drive and Georges Close. 

The bus gates will allow buses, emergency vehicles and, when required, local authority vehicles such as waste collection lorries, to pass while prohibiting the passage of other vehicles.

These will be similar to the bus gate on Wonford Road, where traffic flows have reduced by over 50 per cent and cycling has increased by nearly 20 per cent.

Additionally, physical modal filters, i.e. bollards or planters, will be placed 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; and on Vaughan Road, between Whipton Lane and Vaughan Rise.  

The trial is expected to be in place for up to 18 months, which includes a consultation period for the first six months, after which a decision will be made whether to make the temporary changes permanent.

Councillor Danny Barnes, Chair of the Exeter Highways and Traffic Orders Committee (HATOC)  and local Member for Heavitree and Whipton Barton, said:

“More than 2,000 vehicles travel along many of these residential streets every day and this deters local people from cycling or walking.

“We have been engaging with the local people since 2020 and it is clear that from what they have told us that the amount of traffic and the lack of priority for walking and cycling is a concern.

“Previously we introduced humps to reduce traffic speeds at the Whipton Lane/Sweetbrier Lane Roundabout, and modal filters to create quieter streets on Homefield Road and Chard Road.

“Now by trialling these additional interventions we hope to create a safer and more attractive environment for active travel while ensuring that all properties remain accessible by car.”

Councillor Su Aves, the local member for St Sidwells and St James, said:

“This scheme will make sustainable travel for all, such as walking and cycling, the priority in the area by reducing traffic. It still allows all those that need to use vehicles access to their destinations within the area. So many people have said to me how less traffic on the roads made such a positive difference to their neighbourhood during the pandemic.

“This in turn will encourage more people to travel actively, improve their health and wellbeing and give women, children and younger people more confidence to walk, wheel or cycle around their neighbourhood.

“It is important to reduce vehicle traffic in roads immediately outside schools during drop off and pickup times, to make walking and cycling to and from school safer.”

The Council will be publishing new webpages with information specifically about this trial in the next 24 hours.  Visit devon.cc/exeterstreets


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