Traffic barred as ‘dangerous’ Exeter road is made exclusive to walkers and cyclists

Traffic has been barred from a ‘dangerous’ Exeter road in a bid to boost walking and cycling in the city.

Doctors Walk is the latest route to be closed to vehicles in a move which highways chiefs say has been ‘a local aspiration for years’.

Devon County Council (DCC) says the ‘pop-up’ measure is among many boosting safety and providing alternatives to public transport by encouraging active travel.

The authority added its newest scheme will reduce traffic for residents in Balls Farm Road.

It will also improve pedestrian and cycle access from Ide village to local schools – like West Exe – and city workplaces.

New signs promoting the changes have been installed on Ide Lane, Pocombe bridge and Dunsford Hill to the Twisted Oak pub.

Doctors Walk is now exclusively for the use of walkers and cyclists.

Alphington and Cowick ward representative Councillor Yvonne Atkinson said: “I have been trying to find a solution to this dangerous road since becoming a councillor in 2017.

“Police enforcement action against drivers has had no effect on stopping drivers who ignore the no access signs to Balls Farm Road and put children going to school at risk.

“Through these measures we can create a safe green lane to encourage cycling and walking to school and work and for pleasure.”

Cllr Stuart Hughes, DCC cabinet member for highway management, added: “This is another important addition to our local walking and cycling network, particularly as it’s providing a quieter, safer route for pedestrians and cyclists heading towards Marsh Barton and the Exe Estuary.”

The measures have been introduced as part of the Emergency Active Travel Fund – to which DCC has submitted a fresh bid for funding for more schemes.

These include proposals for cycle improvements and road closures in Exeter covering Heavitree, Wonford, and the city centre.

New crossings will be provided at Russell Way, Polsloe Road and Countess Wear and the trial of some of the temporary changes will be extended.

Any funding would have to be spent or committed by March 2021.

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