Proposals for the next section of the E4 strategic cycle route along Union Road in Exeter have gone out for public consultation.
Devon County Council is asking for feedback on its plans to extend the walking and cycling route, which will help tackle congestion and reduce carbon emissions.
The scheme proposes to provide a new two-way cycle route along the north side of Union Road, and for the majority of this route, cyclists will be separated from pedestrians, but where it’s not possible a shared path will be introduced.
Stoke Hill roundabout will be converted into two mini-roundabouts with new pedestrian and cycle crossings, while proposals all see the removal of the parking bays on Union Road, while Devonshire Place could be made one-way southbound for the proposed Pennsylvania Road junction.
Cllr Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council cabinet member for highway management, said: “We’re inviting people to provide feedback to help inform the design of the scheme which we hope will encourage more people to walk and cycle as part of our ambition for a cleaner, greener Devon. A two-way cycle path is considered to be the best solution for cycle provision along Union Road because of the limited road space available.
“Changing the layout of Stoke Hill roundabout to a double mini roundabout also creates extra space for pedestrians and cyclists on Union Road. The proposals aim to establish a cycle route that meets government guidelines as well as balancing the needs of pedestrians, vehicles and buses.”
The proposed Union Road scheme includes:
- provision of a new two-way cycle route along the north side of Union Road. For the majority of this route, cyclists will be segregated from pedestrians, and where this is not possible a shared path will be provided
- removal of parking on Union Road – see below for proposed measures to compensate for the loss of parking
- existing bus stops to be relocated along Union Road
- access to all private driveways to remain
- new zebra crossing of Union Road, located to the west of the Culverland Close junction
- existing zebra crossing at Saunders Convenience Store to remain
- existing loading bay at Victoria Inn to remain
Stoke Hill roundabout junction
- New double mini-roundabout arrangement including two mini-roundabouts with a short link between the junctions and central traffic island.
- New parallel pedestrian/cycle crossings.
- Shared footway/cycleway facilities around the existing roundabout with new parallel crossings at each roundabout arm.
- Widening of footways between the Old Tiverton Road and Mount Pleasant Road, and Union Road and Stoke Hill is shown to provide additional space for pedestrians and cyclists.
- The existing zebra crossing on Prince Charles Road approximately 60m east of the new crossing to be removed.
Pennsylvania Road junction
- Changes to Pennsylvania Road junction are proposed to allow the cycle route to extend through the junction. To achieve this, it will require relocating the stop line away from the junction which is a similar layout to the Magdalen Road/College Road junction in St Leonards.
- Devonshire Place could be made one way southbound for the proposed layout of the Pennsylvania Road junction
Loss of parking along Union Road
- On-street parking spaces are proposed to be removed on Union Road for the new cycle facilities. This includes two disabled bay spaces which are no longer required. Surveys indicated approximately 75% maximum parking occupancy
- Two on-street parking spaces are to be removed at the northern end of Old Tiverton Road for the new cycle facilities at Stoke Hill roundabout
- Proposals which could help in offsetting and re-allocating parking include changing or converting some of the 2 hour limited waiting spaces on adjacent roads to resident’s permit parking, considering moving all Union Road addresses into the Residents Parking Zone S4, new Car Club vehicles to provide ad hoc access to cars, instead of ownership and new short-term parking in the vicinity of the shop
Clllr Su Aves, County Councillor for St Sidwells and St James, added: “Union Road is used by all ages and needs to be made safer. As a cyclist myself but also as a pedestrian and a car driver, I appreciate how difficult it can be to drive or cycle along this road safely. Ideally cyclists should not need to share pavements with pedestrians as this creates conflict. Having a dedicated 2-way cycle route is the best design for this width of road.
“The Stoke Hill roundabout desperately needs to be improved. From emails I receive I know that safer crossings and junctions have been asked for by residents, school children and those that use the E4 cycle route. It is a major route for commuters, residents, deliveries, buses, and school journeys.
“I am hoping that as many residents as possible respond to this consultation so that everyone’s opinions will be taken into account. The more of us that cycle and walk, when we can, will improve our health, reduce air pollution and our impact on the environment.”
Cllr Percy Prowse, County Councillor for Duryard and Pennsylvania, added: “This part of the E4 has been a long outstanding part of the cycle route and residents are encouraged to give their opinions about the proposals.”
The E4 cycle route is a 5km cycle route connecting East of Exeter and Redhayes Bridge, via Pinhoe towards the University and St David’s station.
The first 3km of the route from Redhayes Bridge has already been completed. Union Road is the next section, with Devon County Council consulting until Tuesday, July 13, on the plans.
etails of the consultation and an online survey can be found on Devon County Council's Have Your Say webpages.
Alternatively, you can request a paper feedback form or more information by emailing email@example.com, by post to Transport Planning, Matford Offices, County Hall, Topsham Rd, Exeter, EX2 4QD or by phone on 0345 155 1004.
By Daniel Clark, Local Democracy Reporter