Exeter is a rapidly growing City and is seen by planners as the centre of employment, commerce and retail activity for the Heart of Devon, supporting people and communities in much of East and Mid Devon, Teignbridge, and central Devon (Okehampton area). The growing population, employment and retail opportunities generate a significant level of transport in and around the City, and at peak times at the start and end of the day roads are congested, with long queues of traffic both entering and leaving the city.
With new Local Plans for Exeter, East Devon and Teignbridge being brought forward for 2022-23, ECS decided in February 2022 to reconstitute what was its Highway & Transport sub-committee into the new Strategic Planning & Highways Group. The change reflects the more strategic approach to these topics, necessary to critically respond to the new planning frameworks and especially to ensure that travel infrastructure is put in place to mitigate additional car journeys into the city.
Two places that even now are consistently congested are Exe Bridges by traffic heading towards Alphington Road and Countess Wear roundabout. In addition, most of the main roads in and out of the city are congested during peak times at the start and end of the day, with many people living along these roads experiencing poor air quality.
The Civic Society is concerned about the current congestion, but with future planned developments there will be a significant increase in traffic which will cause even more congestion. Trevor Preist of the Society’s former Highways & Transport sub-committee has undertaken a detailed analysis of the expected increase in car usage as a result of the City’s expansion. His report Rush Hour can be accessed here ECS Rush Hour PDF , and a two page summary is also available here (shortly).
Transition Exeter’s Transport Group are also concerned about traffic congestion, as well as pollution. Their activity can be found on their website. Other groups that are concerned about transport issues are cyclists and bus users.