Green light for Exeter city centre roads revamp when £52m St Sidwell’s Point development opens

Traffic changes have been agreed for when a new bus station and leisure centre in Exeter open in the spring of 2021. 

Work on the £52million St Sidwell’s Point development is continuing – and a raft of new road restrictions, aimed at providing safer and convenient access, will come into force when it is completed.

The Exeter Highways Traffic Orders Committee yesterday (Friday, September 11) unanimously agreed to the proposals, writes Local Democracy Reporter Daniel Clark.

Proposed Exeter road changes

Cheeke Street

To reduce the traffic around the entrance and exit of the new bus station, it is proposed that the section of Cheeke Street between Belgrave Road and Bampfylde Street is restricted to buses, cycles, taxis and private-hire vehicles in both directions.
To make the crossing at the Paris Street roundabout safer, it is proposed that only buses, cycles, taxis and private-hire vehicles be allowed to travel from Paris Street roundabout up to Belgrave Road. All traffic would be allowed to turn left out of Belgrave Road and travel down to the Paris Street roundabout.

Belgrave Road

It is proposed that no traffic (except cycles) is allowed to enter Belgrave Road from Cheeke Street. All vehicles must enter Belgrave Road from Summerland Street. All traffic leaving Belgrave Road may do so onto Summerland Street or by turning left onto Cheeke Street towards the Paris Street roundabout
To ensure that pedestrians retain safe crossing points, amending the kerbline at the junction and shortening the existing loading bay is proposed.

Bampfylde Street

It is proposed that a prohibition is introduced between the entrance of Stover Court and Cheeke Street. All traffic would be allowed to travel north-eastbound from Cheeke Street towards Summerland Street.
However, only buses, cycles, taxis and private-hire vehicles would be allowed to travel towards Cheeke Street.
It is also proposed to introduce additional bus stands and bus layover parking in Bampfylde Street to provide parking for the long-distance coach stops that are to be relocated from Sidwell Street.

Paris Street

As part of the new leisure centre, it is proposed to construct a new loading bay on the footway on Paris Street.

Proposing the changes be approved, Councillor Sue Aves said: “We want people to think sustainable transport first.

“It is important to have a good welcome to the city and by making the changes to the roads in the way planned here, it is the best way we can arrange the traffic at the moment.”

The cost of the work is being funded by Exeter City Council.

A report to members said: “The introduction of a new bus station and leisure centre is seen as positive to encourage continued bus usage which will help with congestion and air quality in the city and keep the public active.

“The proposals also include measures that improve access to the city centre for cyclists, including contraflow lanes and access where general traffic is not permitted.”

St Sidwell’s Point will be the first Passivhaus energy efficiency-standard leisure complex in the country and will cost £44million.

Once finished, it will include a main swimming pool and learner’s pool with moveable floors, a confidence pool, a fitness gym and two fitness studios, as well as a health suite and spa facility and a children’s soft play area.

The £8million new Exeter Bus Station will include covered waiting and boarding areas and high-quality facilities. It will replace the current station opened in 1964.

An Exeter City Council spokesperson said: “Good progress continues to be made on site despite restrictions to working practices caused by Covid-19.

“People can see for themselves the structure rising above the hoarding line and the striking curve of the building starting to take shape.”

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