Tithebarn Lane closed ahead of new M5 bridge installation

A new pedestrian and cycle bridge is due to be installed over the M5 motorway at Exeter, just north of Junction 29, next week.

The structure, which will be next to the existing overbridge at Tithebarn Lane, is expected to be lifted in overnight on Saturday 18 November. To enable the lift to take place, the M5 will need to be closed between Junction 28 and 29, from 8pm to 8am.

Councillor Andrea Davis, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Development and Waste, said: “It’s important that infrastructure for sustainable travel is in place ahead of new homes being developed and this was always an integral part of the infrastructure plan. This will provide another vital link between Exeter and the Exeter and East Devon Growth Point.”

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for cycling, said: “With growth on both sides of the motorway we’re keen to encourage walking and cycling, and the path on the existing Tithebarn Lane bridge isn’t wide enough for a shared-use path. This bridge will improve access for pedestrians and cyclists as they will always want to choose the most direct route, particularly in areas which aren’t pan flat.”

The Devon County Council scheme is being funded with money secured from Highways England’s Growth and Housing Fund.

Rob Llewellyn, Highways England’s network operations manager for the South West, said: “We’re committed to working with local partners to deliver specific projects such as the Tithebarn Link Road and pedestrian cycle bridge scheme, which will make a real difference to communities and support regional economies.

“Regarding the bridge lift, we’re pleased good progress continues to be made with this important scheme. The improvements are vital to accommodate the extra journeys the developments will create and we will continue to use our Growth and Housing Fund and work with a range of local stakeholders to unlock further development sites around the country.”

In case of any unforeseen circumstances, such as severe weather or high winds, additional night-time closures have been provisionally pencilled in over the following three Friday and Saturday evenings as potential back up dates.

A signed diversion route will be in place via the B3181, between Exeter and Cullompton. Parking will be suspended on Fore Street, in Cullompton, for the evening in order to ease any congestion issues that may result if cars are parked along this part of the diversion route during the overnight closure.

As part of the scheme, Tithebarn Lane will be closed from today (Monday 6 November) for at least three weeks, from the junction of Annings Drive to the M5 overbridge. The closure is needed to bolt together the sections of bridge prior to its installation. However, if the bridge lift is postponed due to adverse weather the closure period of Tithebarn Lane may have to be extended.