Latest News - Exeter and East Devon Growth Point

The Future of transport in Exeter

THE future of transport in Exeter will be the subject of a public consultation launching on Monday (15 March).

Devon County Council is holding four exhibitions in the city to give people the chance to have their say on how they think transport should support Exeter's growth. This strategy will form part of the Local Transport Plan for Devon 2011 - 2026 which will be published at the end of this year.

The next 15 years is expected to see rapid growth in Exeter and the East of the city with housing development planned for Cranbrook, Newcourt, Monkerton, and South West Exeter, as well as employment development with the Exeter Science Park and Skypark. These schemes are expected to place extra pressure on the city's road network.

The exhibition will be held at Exeter Guildhall in Lower High Street from 11am-6:30pm on Monday 15 March and Tuesday 16 March. It will then move to Bedford Square from 10am - 5:30pm on Friday 19 March and Saturday 20 March.

The consultation sets out a number of proposals for travel around the city, including outline details of Project Exe-press, which will aim to improve the quality of public transport in Exeter by running state of the art buses on two new cross-city routes and improving the existing bus network. The routes would attract business commuters and would link to St David's railway station and the University, as well as providing a shuttle bus from the Exeter Science Park and Skypark.

Project Exe-press has provisionally been earmarked for £60million from the Regional Funding Allocations programme from 2014. To secure Government funding a Major Scheme Business case will have to be submitted to and approved by the Department for Transport.

Proposals for two new Park and Ride sites at Alphington and Cowley Bridge Road are included in the exhibition, which would mean that all of the main routes in the city would have a Park and Ride.

The consultation refers to Devon's draft cycling strategy which focuses on developing a high quality network of cycle routes, linking up large employment areas, new residential areas and the city centre.

An expression of interest has been submitted to the Government for funding rail improvements which the LTP is calling The Devon Metro. Proposals set out improvements to rail connections between Exeter and commuter towns such as Exmouth, and the possibility of new rail stops which could also be provided in areas such as Marsh Barton, Newcourt and Monkerton to link them to the city centre. In the longer term there could be options of a new station at Cullompton and increased frequency on the Exmouth and Paignton lines.

The County Council is also investing in new roads and road improvements with five major schemes planned for Alphington Road, Countess Wear Junction, M5 Junctions 29 and 30 and East of Exeter Clyst Honiton Bypass.

Devon County Council has already invested heavily in transport improvements in Exeter, including:

  • Junction improvements at Moor Lane, M5 Junction 30 and the opening of Cumberland Way;

All bus routes in Exeter have low floor buses. Bus passenger numbers have increased in the city by 25% between 2003/4 and 2006/7. Park and Ride in Exeter has grown by 85% between 2003/04 and 2008/09 and a new fleet of low emission buses was launched for the Park and Ride sites last year.

 

  • Since the Cycle Exeter project started in 2005, daily cycle trips across the city have increased by 40%, and there are 20km of new or improved cycle routes, including the Exe Estuary Trail. 10% of commuters cycle to work.

 

  • 97% of local authority schools in Exeter have a travel plan and 20% of secondary schoolchildren regularly cycle to school.

 

  • A rail station has been opened at Digby and Sowton, and Exeter's eight train stations have seen passenger growth of 35%.

 

  • More than 7,300 people have registered with Carsharedevon.com, making it one of the most successful car share schemes in the country.


Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said: "The local economy will benefit from the new employment and housing developments planned for the outskirts of Exeter, but we need a transport system and infrastructure that will be able to cope with the additional demand. We are already moving forward with this and have approved the layouts of the second phase for the final highway infrastructure scheme for the East of Exeter developments - we are now just waiting on the Government to confirm its support.

"Devon County Council is committed to reducing congestion, lowering carbon emissions and providing sustainable transport options, and this consultation sets out a number of proposals to achieve this. All new development in Exeter will be designed to be cycle-friendly and it's vital that the Local Transport Plan provides practical alternatives which include cycling, walking and high quality public transport. We're keen to get feedback from people in Exeter and the surrounding area, and hear their views on what they see as the long term strategy for transport needs in Exeter."

The results of the consultation will be drawn upon in forming the future transport strategy for Exeter.

Questionnaires will be available at the exhibitions or online at www.devon.gov.uk/futuretransportexeter.

 and Watch the project Exe-press film :

http://www.devon.gov.uk/futuretransportexeter

The consultation will close on Friday 9 April.