Exeter: Heavitree and Whipton residents asked how streets can be changed to boost walking and cycling

Residents in the Heavitree and Whipton areas of Exeter have been asked how their streets can be improved to boost walking and cycling.

County and city council chiefs have joined forces for the online consultation on how to make the activities easier and safer.

The ‘Exeter Streets’ scheme aims to find out what changes people would like to see made to their local areas.

It follows the introduction of the temporary ‘pop-up’ measures barring traffic from some roads in the city to support walking and cycling during the coronavirus pandemic.

Some were delivered in Heavitree and Whipton – such as a closure in Chard Road – and Devon County Council (DCC) made a commitment to consult further on them.

Exeter highways bosses last month agreed to progress making some of the measures permanent.

They include establishing a permanent point-closure to vehicles in Homefield Road as well as the alleyway between the street and Ladysmith Road.

It is also proposed that a contraflow in Park Place is made permanent to allow two-way cycling.

A closure in Vaughan Road was removed following ‘negative feedback’ from the public.

Heavitree and Whipton Barton representative Councillor Greg Sheldon added: “This is a chance to shape the area and improve lives.”

Councillor Stuart Hughes, DCC cabinet member for highway management, said: “We have pledged to carry out wider consultation in the areas where some of the temporary active travel measures have been introduced, and this is an excellent opportunity for people to let us know what improvements they would like to see on their local roads.

“Our transport strategy has set an ambitious target to get 50 per cent of residents in the city walking and cycling to work and education by 2030, and we would welcome everyone’s thoughts on how they feel we can achieve this.

“Quieter roads with lower levels of traffic would support active travel, improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions.”

The online consultation runs until Friday, December 18, and will be carried out in two stages.

An initial poll asks questions on walking, cycling, traffic, public transport and places to be active.

Feedback from this will inform a second phase, to be launched in spring 2021, looking at issues raised and consulting on the detail of potential solutions.

Work delays mean overnight closures will continue at Countess Wear roundabout in Exeter