Alphington P&R | New option for Park & Ride site

Alphington Ward News

The issue of a Park & Ride to the West of Exeter has been the subject of much discussion for far too long.

The traffic congestion along the Alphington Road corridor is well known. And backed up with evidence – traffic surveys should that 1000 vehicles per hour travel along Alphington Road in each direction between 7am and 7pm This is unusual as a typical route for a P&R there would be morning rush-hour peak in-bound, with out-bound traffic being free-flowing, and the reverse true at the home-bound drive-time rush hour.

Back in 2010, Devon County Council were looking for a site for a Park & Ride scheme – they looked at 15 or so possible sites and decided of these, that only Oaklands would be viable. This became known as the Alphington (or Ide Interchange) P&R.

The local Labour team at the time asked about the viability of the other sites through a Freedom of Information request were told “it was not considered prudent to spend time and money undertaking geotechnical investigations and design work to determine detailed cost estimates for these [alternative] sites”

Now four years on, DCC now thinks the original Oaklands site is no longer the best option and come up with 5 new locations – and are now discounting Oaklands.

The rationale for this change of mind is explained by DCC – back in 2010, they were looking for a scheme that would deliver 800 or more parking spaces, now they think they will only need around 600.

Moving the site will mean that any new junction on the A377 at the entrance to the planned P&R will not cause any addition traffic chaos on the approach to Alphington Cross from the Ide Interchange.

A recent public consultation event held at West Exe School presented their preference – a site put forward to DCC by members of Alphington Forum. Site 3, also known as the Round Field [actually more of a tear drop, between the slip road to Ide and the A30 is a much better option.

DCC’s traffic consultants, Jacobs, once more put forward the 1000 cars per hour in-bound argument – but this time without the corresponding out-bound traffic flows – and no-one at the event was able to confirm when and how these surveys were taken.

I wonder if they are any more recent that the last figures I’ve seen – taken in 2011?

If they are, then the recent improvements to the Alphington Road corridoe [including the Grace Road Link Road] have resulted in NO improvement in traffic congestion.

There was also a graph suggesting that 60% of the vehicles using Alphington Road orginated to the EAST of the city. It is our guess that this data dates back to the time of the Junction 29 reconstruction.

These observations raise many questions in themselves, yet there are many others to be addressed.

Will 600 spaces be enough to significantly  reduce congestion on the Alphington Road corridor?

Will there be a fast P&R bus service through the already congested roads?

Could there be alternative routes – perhaps along the un-named C50 towards Pocombe Bridge and then towards Exeter along the B3212 could be an option?

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