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E4 Cycle Route Phase 3: Bridge across Summer Lane

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Summer Lane Cycle Bridge project has been classed as a critical infrastructure project due to it requiring the closure of Summer Lane, and the access issues it causes to users of Willowbrook and St James School. As such, the contractor is still working while adhering to the guidelines for distancing.

Due to issues with the supply chain and having to respect the distancing guidelines, the project is likely to take longer than originally programmed, however, the extent of the delay is not yet known.

What are we doing?

Devon County Council is improving the existing E4 Cycle Route to improve the infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians in Exeter to promote the use of sustainable transport.

The existing cycle route over Summer Lane is not direct and it has steep gradients and tight corners. To overcome these issues, a new pedestrian and cycle bridge is proposed over Summer Lane, north of the existing railway bridge.

Phase 3 of the scheme covers the construction of a bridge over Summer Lane to remove the existing convoluted section of the E4 route between Exhibition Fields and Bettysmead Playing Fields.

The majority of the work will be undertaken during the day between 7:00 am and 6:00 pm. The only nightwork currently planned is to lift the bridge into place.

If for any reason work is undertaken at night, all noisy work will be completed by 11:00 pm.

When are we closing the footway?

The footway on Summer Lane between the rail bridge and the southern side of Exeter Arena (see ‘A’ on image below) will be closed as detailed in the table below.

The shared-use path which leads from Summer Lane to Bettysmead Playing Fields, as far as the junction with the path that leads to Beacon Lane, will be closed for the entire duration of the work (see ‘B’ on image below). This is because it is within the vicinity of the proposed new path, ramp and bridge abutment to this path, which means it cannot be open during any period of the work.

WeekDatePedestrian access arrangements
1-603/02/2020 – 15/03/2020 Including half term holidayOpen (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
7-916/03/2020 – 03/04/2020Closed 09:00-15:00 and 16:45-18:30
10-2504/04/2020 – 26/07/2020 Including Easter and half term holidaysOpen (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
26-2827/07/2020 – 14/08/2020 During summer holidayClosed
29-3015/08/2020 – 28/08/2020 During summer holidayOpen (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
The image shows the closed sections on the footway

There are three diversion routes:

  • To the east, via Summerway, Exhibition Way, Exhibition Fields and the entrance of Exeter Arena (15 minute walk, see sketch)
  • To the west via Pinhoe Road and Beacon Lane; and,
  • To the west via Pinhoe Road, Beacon Lane, Bettysmead Playing Field and the shared use path to the west of Willowbrook School.

Drawing B23006BC-0100-D-002 Rev C01 shows the plan of routes.

Why do we have to close the footway?

We must ensure the safety of our workforce and the public, and in order to comply with our safety guidelines it is not possible to carry out this work without a footway closure.

Between late February and mid-March, trenches will be dug across the whole width of Summer Lane for the diversion of two 33kV electric cables and the provision of new drainage. In addition, there will be an excavator in the carriageway to excavate either side of the road. During this period, the trenches and excavator will prohibit pedestrians having a safe clear route along Summer Lane.

During the summer holidays, a three-week closure will be required for the bridge to be lifted into place. This will provide space for the bridge to be delivered and for the crane to be rigged (set up) and de-rigged following the lift.

Due to the size of the bridge, the crane required will span the whole width of the road (and footway), leaving no space for a public footway past the crane.

How will the footway be segregated from the work?

The walkway through the work will be fenced off on both sides to segregate the path from the construction work. It will likely be low barriers with an open fence on top, without a roof, so that it is open to daylight and does not create an oppressive environment.

It is planned to have two banksmen; one at either end of the path. When people are passing, they will instruct the workforce to stop operating large plant or machinery if necessary to ensure a safe route. This will eliminate the risk of an interaction between plant and the passing public.

When are we closing the road to vehicles?

We must ensure the safety of our workforce and the public, and in order to comply with our safety guidelines we are unable to carry out this work without a road closure.

As this is a narrow section of road we have to close the road to give the workforce a safe working zone.

The road will be closed from 03/02/2020 to 31/07/2020 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

The diversion route is via Pinhoe Road, Mount Pleasant Road, Prince Charles Road and Beacon Lane. The closure will be between the rail bridge and the southern side of the Exeter Arena entrance.

During the work, the traffic on the surrounding roads will be monitored to understand the levels of disruption caused by the closure and, if necessary, investigated further to determine options to mitigate the disruption.

Will the entrance to Exeter Arena be open?

Yes, access to Exeter Arena will be maintained during the whole project.

The contractor’s compound will be located at the skate park end of the car park but the rest of the car park can be used as normal.

Will the entrance to skate park remain open during the work?

The skate park will be kept open as much as possible during the work. It is estimated that it will only need to be closed for a small number of weeks. Exeter City Council will be given forewarning of a closure to enable advanced warning notices to be put up.

What will happen to the public and school bus service?

The school buses will operate as normal as they enter Summer Lane from the Beacon Lane. Stagecoach will divert their F2 bus service around the closure.

Buses going to Summerway will be via Beacon Lane, Pinhoe Road, Whipton Village Road, Summer Lane and Summerway.

Buses leave Summerway will travel via Masefield Road, Thackeray Road, Pinhoe Road and Beacon Lane.

When will the bridge be lifted into place?

The exact date of the bridge lift has yet to be determined and depends on the agreement of a line possession (closure) of the Exeter/London Waterloo line with Network Rail. The lift will be at night due to a line possession of the railway track being required which Network Rail will only permit at night.

Should you require any further information, please email