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Active Streets trial measures to be removed next week

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Temporary traffic filters will be removed from Hamlin Lane, Vaughan Road and Whipton Lane in the Heavitree and Whipton Active Streets trial area on Monday (1 July).

Following the decision by the Exeter Highways and Traffic Orders Committee (HATOC) earlier this month to suspend the Experimental Traffic Regulation Orders for these roads “as soon as practicable”, officers have been investigating whether planters could remain in place to act as traffic calming measures while still allowing through traffic.

An independent road safety audit, a site meeting with County Councillors and highways officers, and further investigation of options has been carried out over the last couple of weeks, before being able to instruct contractors to remove the equipment.

The road safety audit process highlighted a number of potential problems for road users. These included concerns over the risk to cyclists passing on the kerbside of the planters and how they safely merge back with traffic, as well as the impact of give way markings obstructing side road access and driveways. The review also concluded that retaining the planters would offer minimal traffic calming benefits compared to their removal, due to the narrowing effects of parked cars and their proximity to a roundabout where speeds are typically lower.

Following the conclusion of this work, the removal of the traffic filters and planters will go ahead next week.

We’re fully committed to further engagement to identify ways of encouraging increased walking, cycling and wheeling in Heavitree and Whipton, while allowing residents to get to where they need to go.

To aid this process we will now focus on other elements of the recent HATOC decision to hold discussions with all schools in the trial area, disabled blue badge holders and representatives of people with protected characteristics (including disabled people, older people and carers) for more detailed feedback on the impact of the scheme. Focus groups will also be organised with community leaders and residents in the autumn, with officers preparing for these meetings over the summer.

As agreed by Exeter HATOC, temporary traffic filters and planters in Ladysmith Road/Park Road and St Marks Avenue will be removed after the end of the school summer term.