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Latest active travel measures welcomed

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The closure of Doctors Walk in Exeter has been welcomed as another boost for walking and cycling in the county.

As part of the latest Emergency Active Travel Fund measures, access to the route is now only permitted for pedestrians and cyclists.

This is reducing traffic for residents on Balls Farm Road, which has been a local aspiration for years, improving pedestrian and cycle access from Ide village to local schools, such as West Exe School, and workplaces in the city. New signs promoting the changes to the route have been installed on Ide Lane, Pocombe bridge and Dunsford Hill to the Twisted Oak pub.

The work is one of a number of changes that Devon County Council has now implemented to improve routes for pedestrians and cyclists in Exeter, Barnstaple and Newton Abbot by installing temporary “pop-up” measures. These temporary installations are providing alternatives to public transport by encouraging more active travel and improving safety.

Photo of Councillor Stuart Hughes
Councillor Stuart Hughes

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “This is another important addition to our local walking and cycling network, particularly as it’s providing a quieter, safer route for pedestrians and cyclists heading towards Marsh Barton and the Exe Estuary.”

Photo of Councillor Yvonne Atkinson
Councillor Yvonne Atkinson

Councillor Yvonne Atkinson, Devon County Councillor for Alphington and Cowick, said: “I have been trying to find a solution to this dangerous road since becoming a councillor in 2017. Police enforcement action against drivers has had no effect on stopping drivers who ignore the no access signs to Balls Farm Road and put children going to school at risk. Through these measures we can create a safe green lane to encourage cycling and walking to school and work and for pleasure as part of the Active Devon initiative and Exeter Transport Strategy.”

Devon County Council submitted its bid for the next phase of Emergency Active Travel Funding last month.

This included proposals for cycle improvements and road closures in Exeter covering Heavitree, Wonford, and the city centre. New crossings will be provided at Russell Way, Polsloe Road and Countess Wear and the trial of some of the temporary changes will be extended.

In Barnstaple, proposals include cycle path improvements between the Tarka Trail and Anchorwood, and on the A39 North Road. In Newton Abbot there are plans for toucan crossings at Exeter Road and Jetty Marsh Road.

Devon’s yet to receive confirmation on its allocation, but any funding would have to be spent or committed by March 2021.

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