New Projects for 2023
News May 2023
We are in the process of setting up our project for 2023. We decided it should be about ‘What “Active Travel” means for Exeter’, asking questions on how the modal shift to a new local travel reality and a decrease in car use can look like. For more see our news page, where you also will find a contact if you want to express your interest in this. A new working group will be established over the summer to prepare a round table in autumn. We will work closely with a neighbourhood group who has been engaged with the LTN (Low Traffic Neighbourhood) in Heavitree; ECC councillors from the Green Party also showed interest.
Update 29 May 2023: So far we received notes of interest from the St David’s Councillors on Exeter City Council, a neighbourhood group working on the Heavitree LTN, and other people from the public. Please contact us, as we want to set up a round table event for the autumn.
Update 30 June 2023: Active Streets Heavitree and Whipton has been given green light for trial by DCC, read more here.
Update 15 Sep 2023: Our Committee has provided funds to run a round table event, possibly in November. We want to bring the different factions in the debate about the ‘Heavitree & Whipton Active Streets Trial’ together. After a meeting of the ‘Strategic Planning & Highways Group’ in August, we realised that ECS is in a good position to act as a mediating convenor. At the meeting organised by DCC in St. Mark’s Church, Pinhoe Road, on 14 Sep it became clear that a different format would be beneficial to allow for an informed debate and come up with some constructive suggestions. We have some interest already from different groups to be present at a potential round table. Contact: Gert Vonhoff (firstname.lastname@example.org) .
The Trial, which started in August, is planned for 18 months; the current DCC consultation runs for 6 months till 2 Feb 2024, which will provide us with ample time to achieve something after a November Round Table. DCC informs, that the consultation will be carried out through an online consultation form on our dedicated webpage, devon.cc/exeterstreets.
We also are setting up a small working party looking into how better to preserve and protect the trees in our city. More details and contacts on our news.
July 2023: Response to 'Alphington Village Public Realm Enhancements - Part 2'
In our response to the above enhancement project we pointed out that though the the aims of the proposals are to ‘reduce speeds, improve the
public realm and improve facilities for sustainable travel’, the actual proposals do very little to improve facilities for sustainable travel. Indeed, the increase in the
proposed parking spaces runs contrary to the aims for greater sustainability. We also criticised the neglect of cycling in these plans, despite Cycle Route E16 of the Draft of the LCWIP using Dawlish Road as a ‘Quietway’, and this includes the proposed Alphington section. Piecemeal suggestions like this will not support the necessary modal change in traffic. Our full reply can be found here: https://exetercivicsociety.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/ECS-response-to-DCC-Alphington-area-highway-changes.7787.pdf
Draft Exeter Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP)
ECS responded on 31 March 2023 to the Draft LCWIP in the consultation set up by Devon County Council in early 2023. We focussed in our response on strategic issues. We also commented in detail on some cycle routes and all the priority walking routes suggested in the Draft LCWIP document. We agree a modal shift towards active travel in Exeter is needed, but we think the opportunities for such a shift are ‘underused’. For example, we would like to see the mobility hubs more actively included into the strategy and their remit widened to all ‘Park and Ride’ sites. ‘Liveable Neighbourhoods’ should be made more central in the planning, as they offer local strategic opportunities not yet tapped into. ECS commented on the lengthy timeframe for delivery, on the lack of directness and coherence of the suggested cycle routes, on the necessity to include less on-road parking and more one-way solutions, just to give some ideas what we dealt with.
For our response we were given early access to the response the ‘Exeter Cycling Campaign’ handed in. A good example for enriching collaboration.