East Devon: Permanent ban on vehicles using ‘narrow road’ – move aims to ‘prioritise walking and cycling as a first choice of travel’

A permanent ban on vehicles is set to stop motorists using a ‘narrow road’ where East Devon meets Exeter.

Motorists are to be permanently banned from using a narrow lane on the outskirts of Exeter, writes Local Democracy Reporter, Ollie Heptinstall.

Langaton Lane, which connects Pinhoe to the Exeter Science Park, in East Devon, has been temporarily closed off since last June under an experimental traffic order.

Councillors are to make the move permanent to encourage more walking and cycling.

The £700,000 scheme, funded by developers, will include the addition of modal filters and turning heads to block and redirect vehicles away from the new ‘green lane’.

A report to East Devon’s highways and traffic orders committee on Friday (December 9) outlined how Langaton Lane is a “relatively narrow road, passing under the M5 and a railway line. Two-way traffic is limited in places with no footways east of the motorway bridge.”

While the growth of housing and employment areas locally means there is “potential for [the road]to attract additional traffic,” the report adds: “In its current form, Langaton Lane is unsuitable to cope with such traffic.”

A public consultation on the plan received 70 responses, of which 71 per cent were in support. These people believed the banning of motor vehicles would improve safety along the lane.

However, those against the plan said the newly-created diversion will increase traffic elsewhere and increase journey times.

Speaking at the meeting, local councillor Henry Gent (Green, Broadclyst) was full of praise: “We’re very lucky to have this significant improvement for walking and cycling at a relatively modest cost, a relatively modest inconvenience to motorists, and a relatively low level of opposition.”

Councillor Sara Randall-Johnson (Conservative, Broadclyst) was also in favour but expressed concerns including the loss of north-side road access under the railway line and whether the mixed-use element was a danger to vulnerable users.

The committee, as a result, added a condition for officers to consider an extra north-south road link to the east of Exeter as part of longer-term planning, while members were told the scheme could include motion-sensor activated lighting as part of a trial.

East Devon

A map of Langaton Lane.
Image: DCC.

The report continued: “The green lane will create a pleasant environment for people walking and cycling and provide an attractive alternative to the car for short to medium distance journeys.

“It would connect new developments on the east and west of the motorway via Langaton Lane into Exeter’s high quality cycling network and help prioritise walking and cycling as a first choice of travel.

“There are better quality alternative road routes for crossing the motorway, either via Cumberland Way and Honiton Road/A30 or via the Tithebarn Way link road recently delivered by Devon County Council and designed to cater for development traffic crossing the M5.”

Traffic will be banned from passing from one end of the road to the other in the form of two concrete blocks.

The existing blocks will remain, with reflective strips added to increase visibility.

 

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