Magdalen Road Enhancement Scheme
Magdalen Road is an attractive and vibrant local neighbourhood centre at the heart of the St Leonard’s community.
Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, temporary changes were made to reduce through traffic to one way and widened the footway on the northern side of the street to support social distancing in the popular neighbourhood centre. A contraflow cycle lane was also provided as part of a cross-city cycle route (E9) connecting Pynes Hill to the city.
Following initial feedback on the changes, a public consultation was undertaken to enable users to input into the future of Magdalen Road.
Public consultation on a range of future options for Magdalen Road was undertaken in Spring 2021.
The options presented during the consultation were:
- Option 1 – one-way westbound with contra-flow cycle lane (i.e. making the temporary layout permanent)
- Option 2 – one-way eastbound (Option 2a including a contra-flow cycle lane, Option 2b not including one)
- Option 3 – low-traffic street (significant widening of space available for pedestrians)
- Option 4 – revert to original layout (i.e. remove all temporary measures).
Information was primarily hosted online, with paper copies available on request and two virtual consultation events.
Over 1,500 responses were received through an online survey linked to the consultation webpage, by email or by post. Approximately 70% of responses were from local residents, with the remainder being frequent visitors to the local area. The responses from local businesses were also analysed.
Some of the highlights of those responses include:
- 75% of respondents agreed with reducing through traffic in Magdalen Road to provide more space for pedestrians and cyclists
- Pedestrian facilities and clean air were rated as the most important factors in Magdalen Road by consultation respondents.
- The option preferred by the greatest number of respondents was Option 3 (low-traffic street)
- Among traders on Magdalen Road, there was a 50:50 split for and against reducing traffic in Magdalen Road.
- Local business identified the on street parking as the number 1 priority.
- 70% of respondents said permanent changes would encourage more frequent visits to Magdalen Road
A more detailed review of the response is provided in the Consultation Report.
A decision was made at the July 2021 meeting of the Exeter Highways and Traffic Order Committee to progress with Option 1 – one-way westbound with contra-flow cycle lane.
The detailed design for this scheme is now underway and further consultation will be undertaken with traders to refine the layout and appropriate on street loading.
Given the strength of public support for Option 3 (low-traffic street), the detailed design will, as far as practicable, avoid impeding the future delivery of this option and options for additional traffic-free days will be explored further.
Traffic Regulation Orders will then be advertised for the finalised scheme, with Cabinet approval being sought prior to construction.