Exmouth’s residents and businesses are being asked to help develop proposals to improve walking and cycling facilities around the town’s railway station by completing a short survey.
The online public engagement begins today, Thursday July 20, on proposals that include wider footways, improved crossing points, upgraded bus stops and the closure of the existing subway. Have your say here.
The feedback received will help identify key issues, areas of concern and opportunities ahead of a formal public consultation on more detailed and specific proposals later in the year.
The plans are intended to encourage active travel, particularly for shorter journeys, reduce congestion and improve connectivity across the town.
They will also help reduce carbon emissions by encouraging more people to use sustainable modes of travel.
As well as bringing benefits to local businesses through increased footfall, the proposals are also designed to make the area safer, more welcoming, and more pleasant place for all.
These proposals form part of the Destination Exmouth project, which is funded by the Government’s Levelling Up Fund, Devon County Council, East Devon District Council and Exmouth Town Council.
The project aims to create an Exmouth Gateway – a transport interchange that enables people to travel across town by bicycle, on foot or by bus more easily, reducing the town’s reliance on cars.
A range of initial proposals being considered includes:
- Dedicated cycling space and wider footways to make it safer and easier to travel between the station, bus stop, estuary, town centre and seafront.
- Safer, more convenient crossing points, including raised ‘tables’ to encourage slower vehicle speeds.
- Improved signs to help travelling from the station to the town and seafront.
- Electric vehicle charging and e-bike docking.
- Upgraded bus stops.
- Closure of the existing subway, with the removal of the access ramps providing space for these improvements
Councillor Andrea Davis, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Environment and Transport, said:
“With its golden beaches and vibrant town centre Exmouth has become increasingly popular with tourists and visitors.
“But with more visitors comes more traffic. Particularly in the summer, main routes like Marine Way and Imperial Road can get very congested.
“We know from people have told us that this amount of traffic and the lack of priority for walking and cycling in the town centre is a concern. That is what these plans aim to address.”
Councillor Stuart Hughes Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highway Management, and lead member for cycling, said:
“These plans aim to encourage more people to walk and cycle in the town by linking up with the other cycle and walking routes along the Exe Estuary Trail, along Exmouth Seafront and between Phear Park and Budleigh Salterton via Littleham. These plans are not set in stone, and we want to know what local people think and what their priorities are to help us develop the proposals.”
Councillor Nick Hookway, EDDC Chair of the Placemaking in Exmouth Town and Seafront Group, added:
“I would encourage all Exmouth residents to participate in this very important consultation.”
Councillor Olly Davey, Chairman of Exmouth Town Council, welcomes the news and said:
"Exmouth Town Council has been a strong advocate, though Exmouth Transport Partnership, for coherent and well-planned use of the area around the railway station to enable better integration of walking and cycling with public transport. We welcome the consultation and would encourage everyone to take part and have their say.”
Councillor Richard Scott who, alongside Jeff Trail is a local county councillor for Exmouth, said:
“This scheme aims to encourage visitors to the town by improving the Gateway to Exmouth and follows our successful bid to the Government’s levelling up fund. By widening pavements, improving infrastructure, and upgrading signs. it will make it easier for visitors and local people to access the Strand and seafront from the train station and the A376 by foot, bike, and car. There is more than one way for motorists to access the town from the A376, but often Marine Way is the only route that is used, and this can cause congestion. Improved signs at key access points to the town and improved crossing points will reduce congestion and improve public access for all.”
Between July 20 and August 21 2023, we would like to hear your views, so please visit the scheme webpage to complete the survey and provide your comments on the interactive map on Devon County Council's website.