#CWEST | Transport issues in #SWExeter – a response from @HanLP

Candidates for wards in West Exe have been contacted by CWEST (Campaign for SW Smarter Travel ) for their views on transport issues in SW Exeter.

Here is a copy of the response from Hannah Packham, Exeter Labour’s candidate in St Thomas:

Q1 Do you agree that there should be a full and open review of the current proposals for SW Exeter?

Yes, I do believe there should be full and open review of transport needs across SW Exeter.

There are a number of complex issues involved, including the need to support more environmentally friendly methods of transport, tackling increased congestion and the impact of the new communities planned in SW Exeter.

This openness needs to be spread across the whole of Exeter and the developments on its boundaries, particularly to the east where there are specific problems arising in East Devon – an authority who importantly do not have a Local Plan which would include infrastructure questions – unlike Exeter City Council, which does.

Q2 What is your position whether a Park & Ride scheme should be built on the Oaklands Riding School fields.

There are arguments that suggest a park & ride in or around Ide Interchange with A30 could help reduce congestion on the Alphinghton Road corridor.

I understand DCC appear to be exploring other sites which are yet unknown – these may offer a better solution to the problem than that offered by Oaklands

The situation surrounding the current site of Alphington P&R needs to be resolved in order for me to comment in more detail.

However, I will not support a new P&R scheme on the site of Oaklands Riding School at any cost. DCC will have to convince me that a P&R on this site is the best location, and that a scheme located here will help to reduce traffic congestion along Alphington Road.

Q3 Do you agree that current Cycling Strategy for Exeter is wholly inadequate as regards Alphington, St Thomas and Marsh Barton

DCC have just adopted a strategy on this; at this stage I believe it is too early see what implications this has in terms of bidding for funds for implementation.

I am a keen cyclist and very keen to see the cycle routes across the city improved. Of course this will require ECC and DCC working together to take into account current traffic follows, analysis of safety for all concerned and the funding streams available.

I have already been attempting to improve the cycle routes in St Thomas, highlighting where, for example, on Cowick Street after road resurfacing the cycle path just stops, and I believe is dangerous. At my request Ben Bradshaw has also visited the area and cycled the St Thomas cycle paths with me as this is one of our priorities in the city.

One of the successes of Exeter as a Cycling Demonstration Town was that 6% of travel to work was by cycling.

The 2011 Exeter Cycling Strategy sought to improve this to 20% by 2021.

I am disappointed that the new DCC Cycling Strategy approved at Cabinet on 08/04/15 has downgraded this aspiration to be 12% by 2021.

We have in Exeter and the surrounding areas some excellent leisure cycling routes. I would like to see cycling routes and schemes that enable people to undertake their daily commute on their bike.

This will undoubtedly require improved cycle routes, potentially as the question asks, one which runs parallel to Alphington Road, and others. I also believe that nationally and locally we should be encouraging employers to provide facilities which encourage and enable their employees to cycle into work, with the provision of cycle storage, showers etc. I know that a number of trade unions are also keen to prompt these schemes and may also prove beneficial partners in this area.

Finally, I am worried that the strategic funding for major transport infrastructure has moved from DCC to the Heart of the South West Local Transport Board, making decisions on such matters far less democratically accountable.

Thank you for your questions on these important issues. We speak to residents throughout the year in St Thomas, and while cycle lanes and cycling safety have been raised, and some localised road layout issues, it may be worth mentioning that the wider, more strategic overview of travel in SW Exeter has unfortunately not been an issue raised on the doorstep.

Hannah Packham
Exeter Labour City Council Candidate – St Thomas

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