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Exeter Transport Strategy 2020-2030 & InnovaSUMP


Exeter is a thriving economic centre for the county and is a desirable location to live. The city has grown rapidly over the past two decades and this economic success and growing influence has increased travel demand into the city.

Measures to help accommodate growth into the city are set out in the Local Transport Plan 3 (2011-2026). With over £100 million of new transport infrastructure since 2011, a significant part of the existing 15 year strategy has now been delivered.

With a climate emergency declaration, advancements in technology and a better understanding of changing travel habits, we have refreshed the transport strategy to better reflect current trends, carbon reduction priorities and the needs of communities.

Exeter Transport Strategy (2020-2030)

The Exeter Transport Strategy 2020-2030 focuses on improving travel choices, creating better places for people and taking advantage of technology opportunities to influence travel behaviour in a positive way.

The proposals aim to provide an ambitious, but realistic, transport strategy that is embodied in the following 3 key themes:

  • Greater Connectivity focuses on travel into the city from outside Exeter’s boundaries. A consistent standard of frequency of both rail and interurban bus routes and delivering strategic cycle trails between key settlements are proposed. To capture those from the rural hinterland with limited sustainable travel choices, there will be a Park and Ride on all key corridors into the city. This theme also includes protecting the reliability and resilience of the strategic road and rail connections with the rest of the country.
  • Greater Places for People is about travel within and quality of life in the city. This includes a target for 50% of trips to be made by walking and cycling. This will be achieved through enhancing pedestrian/cycling networks, reallocating road space for walking and cycling and creating more attractive public spaces. We will also work with bus operators to improve urban bus corridors and to provide a reliable low carbon network of buses.
  • Greater Innovation will see the Council looking to work with private sector partners to test and implement innovative technology solutions to make travel easier and help the city’s transport networks operate more flexibly and efficiently. A key aspiration will be to expand the electric vehicle car clubs, the on street electric cycle hire network and proposed low carbon bus services and develop a new zero emission transport subscription service.


The draft Exeter Transport Strategy was consulted on in 2019. Over 1100 public responses were received and the consultation has shown widespread support for the draft Exeter Transport Strategy. There was particularly strong support for Park and Ride, including improving journey times and enhancing cross city travel options, and improvements to active travel networks. 70% of respondents also supported the re-dedication of highway space for pedestrians and cyclists in the city centre.

The consultation did however highlight a need for greater focus on carbon reduction and further clarity on the measures to be included. These have since been considered further and have been incorporated into the final strategy. A copy of the Exeter Transport Strategic Consultation Report is also available.

Climate Emergency

In response to the Climate Emergency declarations an assessment of the carbon savings from measures proposed in the Exeter Transport Strategy was undertaken. This identified the types of intervention which provide the greatest carbon savings, and furthermore the combination of measures which would offer the greatest reductions. These included:

  • Electric Car club vehicles
  • Sustainable Travel enhancements achieved by vehicle capacity reduction
  • Targeted Travel Planning
  • Linking Public Transport with improved electric vehicle & bike facilities

Following this the content of the Exeter Transport Strategy, and the content of the 9 strategy sub themes has been revised to reflect the carbon analysis and strengthen their contribution to reducing carbon emissions.

The Exeter Transport Strategy 2020-2030 will therefore support the County’s commitment to reducing emissions.

Action Plan

A 5 Year Action Plan setting out the priority transport projects was produced alongside the transport strategy.

A 2 Year Action Plan running from Summer 2019 to Summer 2021 was also produced as part of the InnovaSump project. The project aims to contribute to a low carbon economy and involves partners from across Europe to promote shared learning of best practices from across the continent.

For more information on the InnovaSUMP project please visit

Last Updated: 19 November 2020