Magdalen Road One-way system set to become permanent

    Wednesday, July 21st, 2021 9:30am

    By Ollie Heptinstall Local Democracy Reporter

    The temporary one-way layout of Exeter’s Magdalen Road is to be made permanent after councillors rejected the favoured option of residents for its post-covid future. Famed for its independent shops and restaurants, the neighbourhood centre of St Leonards became one-way  in June 2020 to support social distancing and active travel measures. It was claimed this would be temporary. A cycle lane was also added, part of the ‘pop up’ E9 Strategic Cycle Route connecting the Newcourt/Pynes Hill area to the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital and city centre.

    EXETER: Magdalen Road scheme

    The temporary one-way layout of Exeter’s Magdalen Road is to be made permanent after councillors rejected the favoured option of residents for its post-covid future.
    Famed for its independent shops and restaurants, the neighbourhood centre of St Leonards became one-way  in June 2020 to support social distancing and active travel measures. It was claimed this would be temporary.
    A cycle lane was also added, part of the ‘pop up’ E9 Strategic Cycle Route connecting the Newcourt/Pynes Hill area to the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital and city centre.
    A number of consultations followed with local residents – as well as people  from the city and wider area – about what should be done when the temporary layout ends. Of the 1,500 responses, 75 per cent were in favour of reducing through-traffic. The specific options offered were:

    Option 1 – one-way westbound with contra-flow cycle lane (i.e. making the temporary layout permanent)
    Option 2 – one-way eastbound (Option 2a including a contra-flow cycle lane, Option 2b not including one)
    Option 3 – low-traffic street (virtual pedestrianisation apart from access for delivery vehicles etc)
    Option 4 – revert to original layout (i.e. remove all temporary measures)

    Whilst the low traffic option was the most popular with just over 50 per cent selecting it as their first preference, it was decided by officers that the second favourite – making the current set-up permanent with one-way traffic only towards the city centre and a contraflow cycle lane – was the most deliverable and therefore recommended for approval.
    Members of the Exeter highways and traffic orders committee voted in favour of the proposal, subject to further approval by the cabinet.
    However, after hearing from a concerned resident of the adjoining Denmark Road into which eastbound traffic along the bottom of Magdalen Road now turn s, the committee said they should consider this impact.
    Officers were asked to bring forward proposals to reduce traffic flows and speeds on Denmark Road, including a possible ‘no right turn’ from there into Heavitree Road, and similarly from nearby Spicer Road.
    A report to the committee about Magdalen Road’s future layout said a low traffic street “would provide the best environment for pedestrians and cyclists and provide additional street space for pavement cafes and ancillary business activity.”
    But it warned that removing the on-street parking could be detrimental to some traders and extra funding may be needed due to it being the most expensive option. The committee heard that traders were split 50-50 on wanting less through traffic along the road.
    The report said proceeding with a low traffic street would risk significant delay before the temporary measures could be replaced with permanent infrastructure.
    It continued: “In light of this, it is considered that [making the temporary layout permanent] is the most deliverable option for reducing traffic on Magdalen Road. It improves the pedestrian realm, improves air quality and still retains on street parking for business, and it is therefore recommended that this option be progressed.”
    However, due to the popularity of turning the road into a low-traffic street, the report added that the design of the permanent one-way system will “as far as practicable, avoid impeding the future delivery of this option”. Additional ‘traffic free days’ would also be explored, the committee heard, because of the level of support for virtual pedestrianisation.
    Councillor Carol Whitton (Labour, St David’s & Haven Banks) said the plan was a “good outcome” for both the residents of St Leonards and the street’s traders.
    “This has been a hugely controversial scheme and has generated vast amounts of extremely impassioned correspondence and I’ve certainly received the vast majority of that. It has raised very strong passions in all directions.
    “I feel, personally, that this has navigated our way through those passions and strong feelings in the best possible way we can do in the circumstances.”
    Proposed designs of the permanent scheme also revealed the current echelon parking bays along Magdalen Road, which drivers must currently reverse into, will be altered to allow drive in and reverse out. County Councillor Percy Prowse (Conservative, Duryard & Pennsylvania) asked whether this was safer than the current set-up, as vehicles will have to reverse out into oncoming traffic, including bicycles.
    Will Pratt, Devon County Council’s lead of transport, strategy and infrastructure delivery for the Exeter area, said the change was because it was what many people in the consultation wanted.
    The project is expected to cost around £1 million, therefore the final decision on its construction will need to be made by Devon County Council’s cabinet.
     

    More from Local News

    • Campaigners call for action as Amazon profits triple amid reports of anti - union tactics and poor treatment

      Campaigners will unfurl a giant banner at 10.30am tomorrow, Wednesday 28th July at Sandy Park Exeter to call on Amazon to sign up to a declaration which would guarantee workers the freedom to talk with and form a union without fear

    • EDDC remind visitors of the importance of water safety this summer

      At the start of summer school holidays and the recent heatwave there has been a sobering reminder of the dangers of drowning with more than 20 people losing their lives across the UK. East Devon District Council wants to remind people making a trip to the seaside this summer that this should be a time to remember and enjoy, please do not let it turn into a tragedy.

    • Council suggests Pinhoe moves into new 'Exmouth and East Exeter'

      Exeter Councillors have recommended that Pinhoe be moved into a proposed new parliamentary constituency with Exmouth. It follows proposals for a shake-up of England’s electoral map for general elections from 2023. The South West has been allocated an extra three seats, including one in Devon that also strays into parts of Somerset.

    • Councillors Angry at New Road Markings on Four Elms Hill

      Video

      A number of councillors in East Devon have asked the committee responsible for roads to take urgent action in order to improve safety at an accident black spot near Newton Poppleford.  Members of East Devon Highways and Traffic Orders Committee (HATOC) were discussing Four Elms Hill, on the A3052 Exeter to Sidmouth road, after it was suggested that the county council had failed to act on a decision made in July 2019 to paint double white lines along the Four Elms stretch.  The move would have prevented vehicles from overtaking.

    • Wanted Simon Turner Aged 35

      Has links to Newton Abbot and Exeter

    • Lifeguards Raise Warning of Easterly winds which will create choppy conditions along our coastline today

      Lifeguards will be patrolling our beaches today between 10am and 6pm Please swim between the red and yellow flags and ask the lifeguards for any advice

    • No date for glass collections but food waste pilot due soon in Exeter

      Exeter residents will have to keep taking their glass to bottle banks after the city council delayed the rollout of a kerbside collection service indefinitely. Councillors heard that the pandemic was the main reason for the delay, along with setbacks in buying the electric vehicles needed to operate the service. They voted to retain fortnightly recycling and waste collections and begin a pilot food waste collection service in at least one area from the autumn.

    • College Junction Deferral as Councillors Questioned How Many Students would use it

      Plans to alter the road layout near Exeter College’s main centre to improve pedestrian safety have been deferred. Following a number of objections from the public, councillors critcised the proposed loss of parking spaces and questioned whether enough students would use the improved junction on Hele Road and Queen’s Terrace.

    Schedule

    Tide Times

    Today's Weather

    • Exmouth

      Thundery shower

      High: 19°C | Low: 14°C

    • Sidmouth

      Thunder storm

      High: 19°C | Low: 15°C

    • Exeter

      Light rain shower

      High: 21°C | Low: 14°C

    • Dawlish

      Heavy Rain

      High: 20°C | Low: 15°C

    What's On

    • Exmouth Town V Tiverton Town

      Towns last preseason friendly against a team two divisions higher . Turnstiles open at 6.30PM

      at Exmouth Town Fc
    • Active Minds - Dementia & Memory Loss Group 10.30 til 12.30 & 1.30 til 4pm

      Do you know someone with dementia or memory loss in East Devon? Active Minds group sessions offer fun and stimulating activities for brain health and wellbeing. At Budleigh Hub every Wednesday & Friday (10am-12.30pm & 1.30pm-4pm). Groups of around 5 people 2.5 hour sessions Enjoyable, interesting and stimulating activities Maximises your brain health and well being Perfect for making new friends Transport available Offers respite for carers Run by Atlas Care dementia specialists Book a FREE taster session now. For more info visit our website or call: 01626 774 799

      at Health And Wellbeing Community Hub
    • Sidmouth Folk Festival

      Organisers of The Sidmouth Folk Festival aim to put on a week of music, dance and family entertainment this summer. Billed as A Celebration of Sidmouth Folk Festival, the event from July 30 until August 6, will be an ‘authentic taste’ of the traditional event. John Braithwaite, festival director, said: “We are looking forward to this special celebration, as we thank everyone who helped the festival survive last year’s cancellation and to secure its future.

      at Blackmore Gardens