SW Exeter | A new school? Or two schools? Or a through-school? But it will be a Free School!

Whenever I’m thinking [and blogging] about the South West Urban Extension, it’s mainly about transport infrastructure or a Park & Ride site. However, there is a another piece of major infrastructure that needs consideration – a school, or schools, to serve the increased population living in the 2,500 new homes.

The SW Exeter Masterplan produced by LDA Design in May 2011 covered all aspects of infrastructure, including schools.

LDA | Illustrative Masterplan
LDA | Illustrative Masterplan
LDA | Birdseye view of illustrative Masterplan
LDA | Birdseye view of Illustrative Masterplan

The masterplan outlined 3 options for strategic development based on the restraints and results of the capacity study of the site/study area The variations in the options were determined by strategic decisions such as location of schools.

Option 1
This development option indicates 2 primary schools, one to the north and one to the south of the A379, and a secondary school to the south of the A379 on a suitable site to the east of the centre.

LDA | Option 1

Option 2
This development option also indicates two primary schools, one to the north and one to the south of the A379, and the secondary school to the south of the A379 but this time on a suitable site to the west of the centre split by a green lane.

LDA | Option 2

Option 3
This option also indicates the primary school options as before, but with the secondary school to the north of the A379.

LDA | Option 3

Although all three options would lead to achievable developments, the assessment against the objectives indicated that Option 3  was most likely to produce a development that would meet the vision for South West Exeter and so was the chosen option to take forward and create a masterplan framework.

It was thought that the secondary school to the north of the A379  would fit well with the green infrastructure and ensure compact development to the south and around the district centre.

Strategic Development Layout 
During the development of the masterplan framework and discussions with English Heritage, the school site has swapped with the primary school so that is now on the west of Chudleigh Road, away from the ancient monument.

LDA | Strategic Development Layout
LDA | Strategic Development Layout

The masterplan framework was clear in its intention for the two primary schools – they were to be located each side of the A379, within walking distance for all new residents and preventing the new to cross the A379.

Exeter School Place Planning Update 
A report of the Head of Planning, Transportation and Environment on Exeter School Place Planning was presented to the Exeter Board on 27 January 2014.

SW Exeter – the development on 2,500 homes in SW Exeter requires new primary provision, and a site needs to be allocated to support secondary places required as a result of this development and wider demographic/housing growth within the city. Due to the site constraints, specifically the A379 dissecting the development and knock-on challenges of children having to cross the road, Devon’s response to the proposal has initially been to require two primary schools, one to the North and one to the South of the A379 and a secondary school site located adjacent to one of those primary school sites to support potential all-though provision.

However, the size and location of provision will be kept under review as the plan for the area is developed in detail, specifically the mitigation of crossing the A379 as this would allow an alternative option of a single education campus which would have greater flexibility and reduced costs.

Minute 34 School Place Planning notes:

The Board noted that the development of 2,500 homes in SW Exeter required new primary school provision, and a site needed to be allocated for secondary places as a result of this and wider demographic/housing growth in the city. Due to site constraints, specifically the A379 dissecting the development and knock-on challenges of children having to cross the road, the County Council s response was initially to require two primary schools, one to the North and one to the South of the A379 and a secondary school site (for approximately 600 places) located adjacent to one of those primary school sites to support potential all-though provision. All options were being considered, in detail, with good working relations between the two District Councils and the County Council as part of the master planning process in conjunction with the developers.

The local Member for Alphington (Exeter City Council) expressed her concerns about the proposals relating to the development and her view was that primary school provision should be located to the North of the A379 to minimise the need for primary school children to cross the A379. Members also expressed the view that as surface pedestrian crossing measures were not feasible any crossing should be via a subway and not a bridge and also supported the preference for a single campus to the north of the A379 and the need for secondary provision to the West of the Exe to reduce the number of children having to travel across the City.

It was MOVED by Councillor Westlake, SECONDED by Councillor Sutton and
RESOLVED that the County Council s Cabinet be requested to invite Exeter City and Teignbridge Councils to form a joint Working Party comprising local Councillors to investigate, in detail, infra-structure provision in respect of the proposed residential development to the SW of Exeter and to make recommendations to the respective Councils.

So it seems that out of the blue, Devon County were starting to favour a single through school to serve the new developments on both sides of the A379.

I am not sure where this idea came from, as it certainly isn’t outlined in DCC’s Education infrastructure plan 2013-2031 published in April 2013.

The EIP is clear that it would like to see public consultation to ensure “transparency on priorities and how decisions are made”. This change of emphasis for the school provision seems opaque and clear as mud!

Indeed a through school, in my view, contradicts the clear vision oultined in the EIP that:

2.15 Where a large scale new development is proposed in the form of a major urban extension, such development will normally be remote from existing provision. A development of 1,000 dwellings or more will, in most cases, make it necessary to seek new provision for early years and primary education, even where there may be some capacity in existing schools. Due to the significant investment requirements and size of secondary provision, the level of development required to trigger the need for new provision is significantly higher than for primary, and there is greater flexibility in the distance to nearest provider and financial viability of development. The early identification of new provision in the planning process ensures it can be considered early in the master planning process to support these new or expanded communities. This is very much the starting point for planning provision and will be subject to ongoing review and consultation.

When applying their principles to the future pattern of education provision in Devon, DCC state in EIP:

2.29 We will work with key stakeholders to secure (among other things):
– primary school accommodation within walking distance promoting local schools for local children, community cohesion and minimising the need to use transport to travel to school.

Again, this seems to be the vision outlined in LDA Design’s SW Exeter Masterplan rather than an unsupported wish from DCC for a through school.

Teignbridge District Council Development Framework for SW Exeter
At a Planning Committee meeting held on 29 July 2014, Teignbridge District Council Planning Committee approved the South West Exeter Development Framework.  This means that the document can now be used for development management purposes and is a material consideration in determining planning applications in SWE1 and SWE3.

The Development Framework has this to say on the need for education provision:

The residential development proposed in SWE1 generates the need for both primary and secondary school places, the number of which will necessitate the provision of new facilities.

New provision is required to accommodate all primary aged pupils generated by the development in South West Exeter as there is no spare capacity at existing primary schools and limited potential to expand existing sites. 2000 homes are likely to generate 500 primary aged pupils.

Significant secondary school places are required; however there is some spare capacity in Exeter secondary schools in the short term. By the end of the decade, these places are projected to be full as a result of demographic change and development within the city, and therefore additional new capacity is required.

Given that development in this location is cross boundary and Exeter facing, Teignbridge District, Exeter City and Devon County Councils are taking a wider strategic approach to need for secondary provision and incorporating a site within SWE1. This will accommodate approximately 300 pupils generated from the development and 300 from the wider Exeter area. Appropriate funding for this provision will come from a number of sources including Community Infrastructure Levy from the relevant Local Planning Authorities, reflecting the likely origin of the pupils.

The document updates the school provision covered by the Local Plan:

As per the Adopted Local Plan
“Land for 2 primary schools and 1 secondary school or preferably 1 primary school and 1 all-through school.” 

The Framework Document
Serviced land for a single campus education facility comprising pre-school, primary school and secondary school provision.” 

and as justification for this change of heart, the Development Framework gives the following reasons:

This has a number of advantages including:
– Accessible within walking distance of all the allocation including the allocation within Exeter City’s boundary;
– Incorporation of a dedicated grade separated pedestrian/cycle crossing of the A379 (see below). This would assist in channelling pupils to a single safe crossing point, reducing the numbers crossing at alternative, less safe locations;
– Shared provision of sports/activity space and educational resources;
– Teaching skills may be shared;
– Streamlined governance offering more flexibility to meet the needs of pupils;
– Operational flexibility and viability;
– Flexibility to manage fluctuations in pupil numbers and demand;
– Provides clear focus for a community hub, and;
– Significant capital and start up revenue savings, which make the school facilities and ongoing running costs more affordable.

Alternative approaches and options have been considered in detail and are not being pursued.

These options include:
– 2 separate single form entry primary schools. One located north of the A379 at the far north-west and one located south of the A379 at the far south east. A separate secondary school located at the south west of the A379.
– 1 through school (primary and secondary) at the far north west and a separate single form primary school towards the south east.

Reasons for rejecting these options:
– The capital and start up running costs of opening numerous schools;
– The difficulty of delivering and opening two primary schools at the same time leading to an imbalance in provision for many years;
– Phasing development of two primary schools introduces the risk that a second school will not be delivered should demographics and development constraints result in pressure to expand the first school leaving insufficient numbers of students to make a second school viable;
– Reduced flexibility to meet changes in demand;
– The implications for the amount of land required for numerous campuses, and;
– Potential for a reduced range of facilities for parents and children.

The view of Alphington Village Forum
Alphington Village Forum has maintained its opposition to a through school at all stages, preferring to support any scheme that would deliver two primary schools.

Their website has this to say on schools:

The situation at April 2014 is that Teignbridge District Council want to build a through school on the south side of the A379. This would include primary provision for all of the proposed 2500 new houses in SW Exeter. Based on 0.25 pupils per new house, this would amount to over 600 pupils.

AVF thinks that there should be a primary school on the north side of the A379 adjacent to the Exeter boundary(as originally proposed in the SW Exeter masterplan), to serve all new housing on the north side of the A379.  AVF believes that the walking route to the through school across the busy A379 is not suitable for primary pupils.

We are supported in this belief by Exeter City Council who will be writing shortly to TDC on the matter.

TDC have put forward an argument for an all-through school – better quality of education, better use of resources etc.

Two toucan crossings will be provided on A379 in addition to bridge.

TDC say that a reasoned argument will be required to justify any primary school on the north side of the A379.

A meeting will be held in ECC on 29th April to discuss such an argument, and a letter will be sent to TDC following discussion in the planning member working group.

ECC encourage people in Alphington to write in support of the ECC stance.

TDC have commissioned a study of a safe walking route to the through school.

One argument from DCC is that extra capacity at Bowhill and Exwick Heights PS will free up spaces at Alphington primary school although of course this would take time.

DCC say that developers have to provide safe walking route along Chudleigh Road, but Westcountry land are not doing this, saying that it is DCC responsibility.

New developments for the new development
I have just heard that there is the possibility of a new Free School being set up on the south side for only 420 pupils.

ECPS logo

Exeter Creative Primary School hope to be a new school that provides a dynamic and creative learning environment to achieve high standards in education.

Exeter Creative Primary School say he national curriculum will be taught in a creative and innovative way which will be enhanced by performing arts (drama, dance, music) to produce confident, high attaining,emotionally and intellectually well-rounded individuals.

There will be a focus on creative teaching and teaching for creativity, helping pupils to:
use their imagination and experience to develop their learning; they strategically collaborate over tasks; contribute to the classroom curriculum and pedagogy; and evaluate critically their own learning practices and teachers’ performance [Jeffrey, Bob and Craft, Anna (2004). Teaching creatively and teaching for creativity: distinctions and relationships. Educational Studies, 30(1), pp. 77–87]

Exeter Creative Primary School | About

Exeter Creative Primary School | FAQ

The seems to be a little confusion in these FAQ, which states:

Is a free school free to attend?
Yes. Free schools are free to attend and paid for through the Local Education Authority budget in the same was as any school.

This isn’t the case – the real situation is outlined by New Schools Network:

Free Schools: the basics
They receive all of their funding direct from central government, which means they have complete independence over how it is spent.

As part of the pre-application process, Exeter Creative Primary School has to demonstrate to the DfE that there is a local need for such a school by collecting signatures of parents who would send their child to the school, as Exeter Creative Primary School is encouraging people to fill in their survey.

I am assuming that ECPS is expecting to submit an application for Wave 10 Free Schools – and the application window in which applicants can apply to the DfE will open from 28 September 2015 until midday on 7th October 2015.

New Schools NetworkThe free school applicant’s handbook [July 2015].


Free schools and The Education Act 2011
The Education Act 2011 was given Royal Assent on 15 November 2011. It gave rise to the Academy/Free School Presumption; Government advice which clarified that any Local Authority in need of a new school must in most circumstances seek proposals for an Academy or Free School, [Establishing a new school advice for LAs and proposers. Departmental Advice, DfE  Website. Retrieved 31 August 2015].

“If a local authority in England think a new school needs to be established in their area, they MUST seek proposals for the establishment of an Academy”  

That would, of course, allow for free schools, as they are simply (in overall legal terms at least) a type of academy.

Only if no proposals come forward (or if the Secretary of State gives consent) can the local authority then set up a new  community, community special, foundation or foundation special school.

So a traditional community school is only allowed if no suitable Free School or academy is proposed [Schedule 11: Establishment of new schoolsEducation Act 2011. Retrieved 31 August 2015].

In July 2015 the advice was renamed the Free School Presumption reflecting the fact that the newly elected Conservative Government regarded all new academies established after May 2015 as Free Schools.[ “The free school presumption” DfE. Retrieved 31 August 2015.]

So what are Free Schools?
Free schools are schools which will be set up by groups of parents, teachers, charities, trusts, religious and voluntary groups. They will be set up as academies and will be funded in the same way – directly from central government.

Once established, free schools are legally Academies so are funded by central government and have a range of freedoms.
– They do not have to teach the National Curriculum: some schools use this freedom to teach different curricula – whether that is a challenging international maths curriculum or taking a different approach to learning with a theme each term linking all subjects.
– They can extend the school day or year: most use this freedom to add more time for learning or extra-curricular activity.
– They have more flexibility in the way they employ their staff: some choose to offer teachers performance related pay to keep and reward their best staff while others choose to bring in outside expertise by employing people without traditional teaching qualifications.
– They decide how they spend their full budget: they receive all of their funding direct from central government, which means they have complete independence over how it is spent
– They have independent governance: free schools are run by an Academy Trust, and are independent of Local Authority oversight. Therefore the role of Governors in overseeing an open school is particularly important.

Devon County Council and Free Schools
DCC’s Education Infrastructure Plan outlines the principles for providing new school places, including the role of new providers:

2.9 New providers will be entering the market through a competitive process and in principle this will happen in 2 ways:
1. Through proposals brought forward by existing providers and/or through the Government’s Free School programme. However, it was clear through the consultation process that existing schools feel challenged by new providers entering the market and question the need, value for money and quality of such provision.
2. As a result of demographic change or significant housing development, we will identify where new provision is required and advertise the proposals nationally and through the Department for Education, New Schools Netwotk and other interested parties. The process for this is identified in Appendix II.

Screen shot 2015-09-01 at 06.59.22

It seems that Exeter Creative Primary School is putting forward its plans under section 1. above.

I am led to believe that DCC are steadfastly against this proposal, and are likely to  resist it – but I’m not sure if they do much as the decision will be with the DfE rather than DCC.

The future
I have been – and still am – a strong and vocal critic of Free Schools and Academies, so it seems somewhat ironic that this might be the mechanism by which the residents of Alphington may achieve what they most want, a primary school to the north of the A379 within easy walking distance of the exisitng and new properties within Exeter City Council’s boundaries and without the need to cross a footbridge over the A379.

If the proposed Free School being set up as Exeter Creative Primary School on the south side is for only 420 pupils, there will have to be a second one somewhere for the other 210 primary school children. it seems to me that the only location is on the north side.

As well as providing education facilities, such a school would create some sort of hub for the new residents near Alphington, as well as protecting the precious ridgeline and Markham Lane.

Homelessness in Exeter – Context

Charities operating in Exeter who support homeless

 Exeter Community Initiatives http://www.eci.org.uk/ – Based at York Road ECI are an Exeter charity that have been going for over 20 years. Much of their core work is funded through donations to a share scheme or through grants from charitable trusts such as the Big Lottery Fund or local authorities such as Devon County Council. They also have contracts to run three  children’s centres in Exeter until 2017. ECI initially setup St Petrocks and Turntable Furniture project.

ECC Funding from April 2015 – £1,250 – to assist work around Soup Kitchens Meeting. This grant is coming to an end and will be part of the new Outreach Tender from October. Total: £1,250

St Petrocks http://stpetrocks.org.uk/Taken from Website – Originating as a community project providing humanitarian response to rough sleepers in the Exeter, the charity officially opened its doors in December 1994, having being given permission by the Central Parish of Exeter to adapt two thirds of St Petrock’s church for use as a homeless centre.

For over 20 years, St Petrock’s has been the first point of contact for people who are homeless, or vulnerably housed, in Exeter and surrounding areas. Our centre in Cathedral Yard is both the heart of our services and the gateway to specialist service providers.  It is unique in that it offers a comprehensive range of specialist services for people who are homeless, all under one roof.

Our work tackles not only the issues of homelessness but also the accompanying factors, such as crime, anti-social behaviour and wider social inclusion issues.

In 2014/15, a total of 1,666 people were supported through our services, from St Petrock’s centre, at HMP Exeter and in the community via the PORCH team.

The total cost of running these services runs at £500,000 pa on average and 94% of our income is spent on providing services which directly support our clients.  As a local charity, we are fortunate to have the support of the local community which provided some 32% of our income in 2014/15.

ECC Funding from April 2015 – £7,500 Prison Resettlement Worker (Homeless Prevention Grant); £6,000 Reconnection Fund (Local Welfare Support); £8,000 Health Fund (Exeter Board).

Total: £21,500

Community Housing Aidhttp://communityha.org.uk/ – Taken from website – CHA is a charity and we have been offering housing advice and support in Exeter and neighbouring areas since 1990.  We believe that everyone has the right to suitable, sustainable, secure and affordable housing.  We work with people who are in need of housing to enable them to find their own solutions, providing information and practical support.

We began life as a voluntary housing advice service, and have expanded the work that we do over the years to provide practical ways to help people to resolve their homelessness. On average, we work with around 1,000 people and households each year. Community Housing Aid is also a MINDFUL EMPLOYER® which is a Registered Trade Mark of Devon Partnership NHS Trust.

We currently support homeless and vulnerably housed people through the following three core projects:

Nightstop Devon – a same day emergency accommodation scheme for young people aged 16 – 25 in the homes of trained and approved volunteer hosts.

Resettlement Devon – helps ex-offenders and people with mental health problems to identify and access sustainable and suitable accommodation; and provides CASS, the Community Advice & Support Service, at Exeter Magistrates Court on Tuesdays each week.

Smartmove Devon – a private rented sector access scheme bringing homeless people and property owners together to create sustainable tenancies.

Bay 6 – a NEW pilot project that aims to ensure that no-one leaving hospital has to sleep rough across Devon and Torbay.

Single Homelessness Funding (ECC, EDDC, TDC, MDDC, Torbay) from April 2015 – £80,000 – Joint Contract with St Petrocks to deliver Offender Housing Resettlement Pilot Funded until May 2016. Total: £80,000

Citizens Advice Bureauwww.exetercab.org.ukAbout Exeter CAB

At Exeter Citizens Advice Bureau we can help you sort out your money, legal and other problems.

We can give you free, confidential, impartial and independent information and advice on a wide range of subjects including

  • benefits
  • employment
  • housing
  • debt
  • consumer rights
  • legal issues

And it’s not just advice. We campaign for change using your experiences to influence local and national policymakers and service providers to improve policies and services which aren’t working.

ECC & EDDC Funding from April 2015 – £9,000 (Homeless Prevention Grant) Court Desk; (Local Welfare Support) Total: £9,000

Homemakerhttp://www.homemakersw.org.uk/index.html – Homemaker Southwest is an independent charity, established in July 2001 and based in Devon. It emerged from an organisation known as the ‘Exeter Homemaker Project’, originally set up in 1991 to provide tenancy support services for offenders. As the organization has grown, the range of services we provide have been adapted to better meet the needs of the local population as a whole, enabling us to offer our services to all sections of the community.
Statement of Purpose
To enable people, especially those who are vulnerable, to set up, maintain, and sustain their homes, and thus prevent homelessness.
Aims of Homemaker
The primary purpose of Homemaker is to prevent homelessness and promote independence. We offer specialist advice and support to individuals and families who may be at risk of losing their

ECC Funding from April 2015 – £0 from homelessness. Part of EMAP which is funded through Local Welfare Support and is under review.

From October

Rough Sleepers Outreach – new provider – Information from website

ECC, EDDC and TDC funding from October 2015 – £37,474.09 per quarter – Total £150,000 per ye

Accommodation in Exeter and how it is funded

The national steer on homelessness is a reflection of the fact that no single organisation or community in Devon has all of the skills or resources needed to prevent it. Homelessness prevention therefore presents a challenge to all of Devon’s statutory organisations and communities, in terms of how they work together to achieve effective outcomes. Diagram 1 (below) is an illustration of Devon County Council (DCC) as just one partner contributing some quite specific skills and resources, into a much wider multi-agency network of skills and resources.

Screen shot 2015-12-26 at 08.40.00
Diagram 1: DCC as one contributor within a multi-agency partnership

The following update clarifies changes to accommodation providers since Devon County Council re-commissioned Homeless Prevention support services across Devon in April 2014. This only looks at changes which affect the Eastern HUB (Exeter, East Devon and Mid Devon) and those services which receive funding for support hours from Devon County Councils under its Contribution into Homelessness Prevention and Support for 16 and 17 Year Olds and 18+ Homeless Prevention services.


In 2013 and due to procurement regulations, Devon County Council started the process of procuring the contracts for Homeless Prevention Support hours The changes to 18+ Homeless Prevention services took place earlier this year with contracts starting in April 2014 and the 16/17 Year Old Homeless Prevention Services followed shortly afterwards with contracts starting in June 2014.

The Homeless Prevention Services were broken down into 4 categories:

  • 18+ Homeless Prevention Support Hours
  • 16-17year olds Homeless Prevention support hours.
  • Domestic Abuse Homeless Prevention support hours
  • Ex-Offender Homeless Prevention Support
  • Accommodation costs will be funded by District Councils/housing benefit
  • The tender for support hours required providers to evidence their access to accommodation that Devon County Council doesn’t pay for.

Exeter, East Devon and Mid Devon Accommodation providers before 1st April 2014

Homeless Prevention Services Provider Number of units Service users
Gabriel House Shilhay Support 40 Male & Female 18-65 Complex needs
Esther Keychange 15 & 4 16+ single female complex needs
Friars Lodge Magna 7 Young mum/family support
Grapevine Chapter 1 10 Young mum/family support
Alexandra House Westcountry Housing Association 23 Single Homeless
Oakfields Stonham 13 Ex-offenders
YMCA YMCA 31 16-29 Single Homeless
Supported Temporary Accommodation (STA’s) Exeter City Council 19 Single Homeless and family support
Women’s Refuge SAFE Women fleeing domestic violence
Floating Support Sanctuary Supported Living Floating Support
Family Support in Housing Chapter 1 Floating Support
Young Person at Risk (YPAR) Provider Number of units Service users
Bethany House Westcountry Housing Association 13 YP Single Homeless Female only
Long Ragg (Axminster) Devon and Cornwall Housing Association (Independent Futures) 6 YP Single homeless
Foyer Raglan 36 YP Single Homeless
Hennis Project Magna Housing Association 18 YP Single Homeless
Supported Lodgings Young Devon 10 Exeter

(60 countywide)

YP Single Homeless

Exeter, East Devon and Mid Devon 18+ Homeless Prevention Services Eastern HUB after 1st April 2014

Support Provider Total hours of support provided per week to deliver Accommodation available for support Total Number of Units Service users
Sanctuary * 794 Queens Road



Red House



Sandford Walk





Pinhoe Road


Floating Support














200 Hours

1st stage temp (ECC)

1st stage temp (ECC)

1st stage temp (ECC)

1st stage temp (ECC)

1st stage temp (ECC)


Move on from Haven where permanent option is private rented

First Stage and Move-on

Single Female Shared House,

Referral route into Emergency Accommodation through Housing Options; Referral to STAR through SHOT; Floating Support direct referral to Sanctuary


BCHA 399 Gabriel House

Glendower Court

Oxford Road


Thursby Walk






18-25 & complex needs

Gabriel House move on

Referral route through Young Persons Accommodation Forum


Exeter YMCA 217 YMCA St Davids Hill



New Court

Morley Road

Phillip Road


(31 in total, 4 left for YMCA use)




18-24 Year Olds – Referral route through Young Persons Accommodation Forum
Westward 150 Alexandra House 23 (10 ring fenced for 18 – 24 year olds)

Referral route through Young Persons Accommodation Forum and Eastern HUB referral to Alexandra House

* Queens Road & Trailways in house support but under sanctuary contract.

Main Changes

The key feature of change was Devon County Councils decision to commission support hours rather than buildings.   Following the tender, Providers can now use the support hours in any accommodation they have available to them.

        • The Eastern HUB housing accommodation options have been split between 18-24 year olds and 25+ & complex needs.
        • A Young Persons Accommodation Forum has been set up to look at accommodation options for 18- 24 year olds (open case or non priority cases). The following accommodation options are considered:
          – Nightstop
          – Amber
          -Alexandra House
          – YMCA- Sanctuary Supported Living – Floating Support
        • Referral process will be through Eastern HUB form sent to Jenny Lynch or Holly Leadbetter at YES Centre. Chris Stocks will chair the meetings.
        • Those of HIRA score under 10 private rented accommodation to be considered with floating support from Sanctuary Supported Living if needed
        • Clients scoring under 20 can be considered for Move-on Options (see Pathway) so long as provider agrees to referral.
        • For anyone scoring 25+ on the HIRA or scoring 4 or 5 in 3 or more categories a referral will be completed to go to the new Complex Needs Forum that will shortly be set up. The Complex Needs Forum will be:

– Monthly meetings
– HIRA score 25+, scores 4/5 in 3+ categories
– Consist of: Police, Mental Health, Probation, RISE, Safeguarding, Housing, Adult Care, Public Health
– Will also oversee MEAM (Making Every Adult Matter) cases

Homeless Prevention 16-17 Year olds Eastern HUB

      • The Peninsula Framework was used as Pre-qualifier to assure quality of services for children and in order for Providers to also accept Individual Placement Agreements via CYP Brokerage
      • The Homeless Prevention 16/17 support hours aim to support young people aged 16/17 to return home (if safe) or become independent by age 18.
      • Care leavers aged 18+ (whose status has been agreed with a social worker) can access the support provided by the Homelessness Prevention 16/17 contract if it is considered appropriate.  
Support Provider Total hours of support provided per week to deliver Accommodation available for support Total Number of Units Service users
Westward 60 Bethany House 13 16 / 17 Year Olds and Care leavers up to 25 if in Full Time Education
Young Devon 40 Supported Lodgings Placements 10 16 / 17 Year Olds and Care leavers up to 25 if in Full Time Education
Keychange 127.8 Esther 19 16 / 17 Year Olds and Care leavers up to 25 if in Full Time Education
Chapter 1 62 Grapevine? Pregnant careleavers, 16/17 pregnant year olds


      • Homeless Prevention Panel meets fortnightly to look at prioritising referrals for 16 / 17 year olds and Care Leavers. The following accommodation options are available:-
        • Esther
        • Bethany House
        • Grapevine
        • Supported lodgings
        • Night Stop
        • Exeter Foyer
      • All hours that have been contracted are for Floating Support so any unallocated hours can be used to support 16/17 olds in private tenancies or in emergency accommodation. If YP is nearly 18 then Eastern HUB form to be completed for consideration for resources through Young Persons Accommodation Forum.

Services no longer commissioned or remaining under review as a result of commissioning exercise

Due to the commissioning process some projects would not continue to provide support under the DCC Homeless Prevention Contract. This could have been due to Organisations taking the decision to change their business model and move to supporting eg. adults instead of young people or young people instead of adults; Organisation decision to withdraw from the market; Organisations not reaching the required standard; Organisations being good enough but not scoring high enough to be allocated hours as these were awarded to other providers who scored higher.

Transition plans were put in place with existing providers to ensure people were safe and appropriately supported through any contractual changes. Changes include:

Those Organisation that did not secure a contract were:-

      • Magna Housing Association – impact is Hennis Project will close end of August 2014. and Magna are currently exploring alternative options for Friars Lodge

Buildings that may face changes in use as a result of contract changes:

      • Chapter 1, Grapevine used to support 18 year olds single parents and has now secured hours under the 16-17 yr old Homeless Prevention Contract
      • Keychange – Esther Project – used to provide service to Single Homeless Vulnerable Women and has now secured support hours under the 16-17 yr old Homeless Prevention Contract
      • Exeter Foyer – Raglan – used to have exclusive Young Persons contract and now has zero hours 18+ contract and is working to get onto Peninsula Framework to accept children incare. In the meantime a transition plan can support YP to access the service.
      • Longragg – Independent Futures – EDDC decided this was a bulding they no longer wished to retain.

Services that fell outside of DCC HP tender and were commissioned through another route:

    • Oakfields Hostel is now commissioned through National Probation Services and access is managed through this route.
    • Domestic Abuse Support services contract awarded to Splitz with no accommodation provision

Exeter’s Strategic Cycle Network

Devon County Council are refreshing their Cycling Strategy [Devon Cycle Strategy: The Next Period, November 2009] and a report on the the new Cycling and Multi-Use Trail Network Strategy [Appendix 2 HERE] was an agenda item for the DCC Cabinet meeting on 08 April 2015.

The minutes of the meeting record:

The Cabinet considered the Report of the Head of Planning, Transportation and Environment on the proposed, revised, Transport Infrastructure Plan and Cycle Strategy reflecting the new funding regime introduced for 2015/16 and the increased involvement of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in delivering transportation schemes, both of which complemented the Local Transport Plan for 2011-2026.

The suggested Transport Infrastructure Plan set out how the County Council would respond to the changes and detailed the infrastructure priorities for the period 2014-2030 while the new Cycling and Multi-Use Trail Network Strategy prioritised future plans and proposals for developing the cycle and leisure route network, recognising the future financial challenges.

While recognising the work already undertaken across Devon to deliver high quality cycle routes, the Cabinet Member for Highway Management and Flood Prevention recognised the need not only to develop further projects to connect cycle routes to major development sites (and to have schemes ready to implement and when resources permitted) but also to respond to those concerns expressed at the use of and access to existing routes caused in part by their popularity and the work done generally to promote cycling in Devon.

The matter having been debated and the options and/or alternatives and other relevant factors (e.g. financial, environmental impact, risk management, equality and legal considerations and Public Health impact) set out in the Head of Service s Report and/or referred to above having been considered:

It was MOVED by Councillor Leadbetter, SECONDED by Councillor Hughes, and
RESOLVED that the revised Transportation Infrastructure Plan and the Cycling and Multi-Use Trail Network Strategy be approved.

Exeter Civic Society questions DCC’s commitment to reduce congestion in Exeter, as is outlined in this press release. Contact details can be found at the end of the press release.

Now it seems Devon County Council is hoping to put forward a funding bid to improve cycling infrastructure to the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership [HotSW LEP] which, if prioritised, would then be submitted as part of a wider bid to Government for Growth Deal funding.

As part of the preparation for this bid, DCC have just concluded a month-long public consultation exercise on Exeter’s Strategic Cycle Network which ran from 14 July – 14 August 2014.

Details on this were available on the Express & Echo website on 15 July 2015 – Public given chance to shape Exeter’s cycle network

DCC asked their transport consultants, Jacobs, to draw up some initial thoughts for 3 cycle routes to become part of Exeter’s Strategic Cycle Network:
E3: Redhayes Bridge to City Centre
E4: Redhayes Bridge to University
E9 Newcourt to City Centre

The DCC consultation pages give all sorts of details with maps, along with the aims and challenges to be faced as Devon CC try to develop a network of urban cycle routes.

Screen shot 2015-08-16 at 09.08.35
Overview map of proposed Exeter Strategic Cycle Routes

The cycle route plans are very much in the early stages of planning and the suggested routes are definitely not fixed.  This initial consultation period is being run so that all options and issues can be considered at an early stage, to help shape the plans before any detailed design or formal planning process is implemented.

So far, so good.

But it seems that route E3 has caused some controversy.

Screen shot 2015-08-16 at 09.12.45
Proposed route of E3: Redhayes Bridge to City Centre – note dotted blue route as alternative to cycle-path through Higher Cemetery

There is a proposal for part of the route to pass around the perimeter of Higher Cemetery – although it is important to note that the map also details an alternative route along Hanover Road.

Alternative route, avoiding Higher Cemetery


Concerns have been raised  – Mapped: New Cranbrook to Exeter cycle route will take riders through city cemetery [E&E, 29 July 2015] and Anger over plans for cycle path through Exeter cemetery [E&E, 03 August 2015]. There are plenty of comments appended to these articles, and even more to their Facebook links.

Some local residents think that this is part of a planning application – it need to be stated clearly that Devon County Council [as Local Highways Authority] has NOT lodged any planning application with Exeter City Council [as Local Planning Authority].

As yet, there are no definite timescales for the project as funding is yet to be sought.

Indeed, it’s my guess that if/when funding is found it maybe only 1 or 2 or the 3 proposals can be advanced.

However, DCC are keen to schemes ready to go so that they can be implemented once funding has been identified.  Despite the online public consultation ending on 14 August, they will be ongoing dialogue with numerous groups and individuals to help shape the plans further.

What happens when Exeter Energy from Waste plant is closed for maintenance?

The EfW Liaison Group meeting due to be held on 28 July 2015 was postponed at last minute as the Energy Reclamation Facilty plant was taken offline at short notice to allow for some reactive maintenance to take place.

Exeter EfW plant in Marsh Barton
Exeter EfW plant in Marsh Barton

During this maintenance shut down, a large number of contractors would be onsite carrying out a variety of activities and it was felt (by the management team) this would not allow a suitable, safe environment within which to hold a liaison group meeting.

Two questions arise.

Surely, there are other venues around the city to hold such a meeting? There is nothing we discuss that means the meeting needs to be held at the plant. if Devon County Council couldn’t find a venue, I am sure that one could be made available at City Council’s offices in Paris Street

But the bigger question is what happens to the waste destined for the incinerator when the EfW plant is closed?

In these circumstances, ECC has to we revert to the previous routine of delivering waste to the Greendale Transfer Station at Woodbury Salterton. DCC’s contractor then transports it in bulk to Heathfield landfill site.

First & Last | Is the pavement too narrow?

Building works on one corner of the First & Last junction have closed the footway (the posh name for pavement used by DCC’s highways officers).

2015-07-21 10.07.24

I am pleased to report that, despite comments I’ve heard, there has not been a wall collapse on the corner of Dunsford Road and Buddle Lane outside the Old School House.

This is not a Devon Highways scheme and doesn’t involve any highway alterations.

Mercury Construction are working on the perimeter wall of Bowhill School site.  As part of these works the wall outside the Old School House was to be rebuilt, as it was  beginning to show signs of movement and their were evident cracks after having stood for countless years.

The works were scheduled for the school holidays to minimise disruption, but a recent structural survey identified that the wall was in an unsafe condition to leave by an active footway.

The footway was closed two weeks ago on the 8th July and the works commenced shortly afterwards.

2015-07-21 10.06.03

A Cowick resident has pointed out to me that the pavement here is too narrow at this dangerous location and wondered if DCC should take this opportunity widenthe footway at this location.

So, is the pavement too narrow?

In Design Manual for Roads and Bridges HD39/1 Volume 7 Pavement Design and Maintenance Section 2 Pavement Design and Construction Part 5 Footway Design [May 2001]

2.10 Geometry
Where possible the footway width should be sufficient to allow two wheelchairs or double buggies to pass. The basic geometrical parameters are set out in Table 2.3.

Screen shot 2015-07-28 at 06.58.50

The Highways Agency DDA Design Compliance Assessment Guide [March 2010] has this to say:

3.1.2 Widths The recommended minimum width of footway/footpath is shown in Figure 3.1.2.

Screen shot 2015-07-28 at 06.40.34

• A clear width of 2000mm allows two wheelchairs to pass one another comfortably. This should be regarded as the minimum under normal circumstances.
• Where this is not possible because of physical constraints 1500mm could be regarded as the minimum acceptable under most circumstances, giving sufficient space for a wheelchair user and a walker to pass one another.
• The absolute minimum, where there is an obstacle, should be 1000mm clear space. The maximum length of restricted width should be 6 metres.
• If there are local restrictions or obstacles causing this sort of reduction in width they should be grouped in a logical and regular pattern to assist visually impaired people.

DCC have told me the cost to widen the footway on this corner would be substantial and prohibitive in the current financial climate. In addition to the physical construction of the widened footway, there would be a need for alterations to railings, traffic signals and sensor loops, push-button signals, utility services, etc.

Also, this junction is also clearly running at capacity in terms of trying to get as many vehicles and pedestrians through the junction in the shortest possible time period. The junction layout is almost unchanged in the last century so understandably this challenge has increased.

Screen shot 2015-07-28 at 06.17.39
First & Last junction

Each of the four legs of the junction has three lanes (both directions) including a right-turn lane on each approach. There is no viable option to alter or improve this layout as the buildings restrict the available width. Any widening of the roads would impinge on the footways and vice versa.

To widen the footway outside the Old School House  would involve narrowing of the road which is really a non-starter.

The ‘swept path’ is the name given to the area of road surface a vehicle uses in negotiating a manoeuvre or corner. As the drawing below shows for a longer vehicle the swept path is considerably wider than the vehicle itself and this can lead to problems at tight junctions.

Screen shot 2015-07-28 at 07.10.40
The swept path of a large turning vehicle can be much wider than its actual width


The First & Last junction is already restrictive for HGVs, buses, etc. so to narrow the junction further by widening a footway, whilst still maintaining three lanes on each approach as needed is not practical.

And that response shows the primary focus of the Highways team – roads, not pavements.

Perhaps rather than a pretty pictures of an articulated lorry going round the corner, what is needed is a picture of a children’s buggy meeting a bicycle or disabled pedestrian inside the railings?

Have we lost an opportunity for want of some lateral thinking?

The opportunity to move the wall back, not to narrow the road.

The wall needs rebuilding.  Why not rebuild it one metre further back?  This would provide a wider pavement.  And there would be NO need to touch the road, the rails or any other expensive kit!

But it seems although both under the remit of Devon County Council, the Education and Highways services work in silos and don’t talk to each other.

The scheme to repair this failing wall is part of a large programme of works by DCC Education department on the Bowhill School site. And these works had no highways impact until there was a need to close the footway due to the wall being assessed as dangerous.

The Bowhill School works are in progress and so the works have already been designed, put out to tender to contractors and the contract awarded to Mercury Construction.

As Mercury are now working on site, there is no scope for redesigning the works and changing the contract and programme.

Wholesale changes and increasing costs are an impossibility at this stage and would have had to have been proposed during the initial design to have been included.

The main trouble is no-one has ever mentioned problems with the footpath being too narrow here before. I haven’t heard about concerns and it seems neither has any other local councillor. Nor has DCC.

With no previous history of reports of the footway width as being a problem on this corner, then there would have been no motivation to address this issue.

I will be taking a greater interest in this corner in future.




Parking on pavements at DCC Full Council

The issue of pavement parking was touched upon at  DCC’s Full Council meeting on 23 July 2015.

Under agenda item 7, Questions from Members of the Council to following exchange took place:


Re: Pavement Parking

I have previously made known my concerns regarding those who park their vehicles on the pavement throughout the County, thus causing us a bill for reinstatement of cracked slabs and other damage to the pavements. All pavement users are seriously inconvenienced. In the City of Exeter this is a specific offence (by-law). Since the start of Civil Parking undertaken since 5th May 2008 not one ticket has been issued. In the rest of the County there remains a total indifference to enforcement policy by the Police or the Civil Enforcement Officers where yellow line restrictions do not exist.

In a letter dated 9 April 2014, the Leader of the County Council indicated this matter would be subject of a report to Cabinet in the Autumn.

Can the Leader confirm that the report never arrived?

What is the current position of the County Council and Exeter City Council and the element of repeater signs in the City of Exeter to allow enforcement to take place?


I share Cllr Prowse s concern about parking on pavements.

When we reviewed the position, it was not felt that a report was required to Cabinet as previously suggested as this matter has been taken up at a national level, through a proposed Pavement Parking Bill. Although, progress with this proposed legislation has been slow, I am pleased to inform Councillor Prowse that it is now moving forward through parliament with Simon Hoare MP taking up the reins following recent lobbying, to which Devon County Council contributed.

Government s stance on the matter of implementing pavement parking bans has not changed from that provided by the Traffic Team to Councillor Prowse last year. There is the ability to implement a ban, but only through the presence of repeater signs, which the Department for Transport have stated are to be placed at intervals felt appropriate by the highways authority. However, even with a frequency of repeater signs much higher than we would like this carriers significant risk, as we have been advised that any car parked without direct sight of such a sign is likely to have grounds for a Penalty Charge Notice to be overturned. In addition there is potential abortive costs of implementing such a scheme should the national bill be passed that does not require these signs.

For the short term, we have developed an advisory enforcement notice approach with Civil Enforcement Officers, a report it function for the public to help focus this advisory enforcement, and a publicity campaign. We are also driving for further guidance of best practise from national organisations such as PATROL (Parking and Traffic Regulations Outside London).


FOI Request 3216696 | The cost of a Traffic Regulation Order

Over the past 4 years  as a councillor, I have spent a couple of years on and off sitting on Exeter Highways and Traffic Orders Committee [HATOC].

The remit of Exeter HATOC is set out in Part 3 of Devon County Coucil’s Constitution.

Under the terms of reference 9.17, Exeter HATOC has the power – within the general strategy, polices and operating procedures of DCC – to exercise various powers of the Highway Authority delegated by the Cabinet, including:

(3) To approve details and implement Traffic Regulation Orders, and schemes for the control of parking on the highway and to be involved in the development of proposals for park and ride schemes.

A Traffic Regulation Order [TRO] is a written legal document made under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and all other enabling powers, by the Local Authority under its powers as a Highway Authority to support any enforceable traffic or highways measures including: speed limits, on-street parking, one way streets and other restrictions.

Failure to comply with the requirements of a TRO , as indicated by signs or road markings, is an offence that may result in the issue of a Penalty Charge Notice, by a Civil Enforcement Officer, or prosecution by the Police.

Most traffic regulation orders come about as a result of input from local communities and the police, to address specific traffic congestion or quality of life issues.

The Order Making Process
A formal TRO requires a statutory procedure to be followed. This includes:
1. Consultation – Following the completion of the design, consultation must be undertaken. This will require obtaining the views of Local Councillors and Parish Councils (where appropriate), the Emergency Services and sometimes other institutions such as The Freight Transport Association, The Road Haulage Association and local public transport operators. Local interest groups such as residents, traders and community groups who are likely to be affected by the proposals may also be consulted where appropriate. The proposal could then be amended following consultation.

2. Advertisement of the TRO then takes place. This includes at least one notice in the local press. DCC will usually display notices in any roads that are affected and, if it is deemed appropriate, may deliver notices to premises likely to be affected. For at least 21 days from the start of the notice the proposal can be viewed at a nominated council office during normal office hours. Objections to the proposals and comments of support must be made in writing to the address specified in the notice or submitted online during this period. Substantial objections and contentious issues are then reported to and considered by Local Councillors. When considering the objections they must decide whether to (a) allow the scheme to proceed as advertised, (b) modify the scheme, or (c) abandon it.

3.Making the Order – The TRO can then be formally sealed providing all standing objections have been considered. Modifications to the proposals resulting from objections could require further consultation. This procedure can take many months to complete and the advertising and legal fees can be substantial. For this reason schemes requiring a TRO normally need to be included in the annual Capital Programme and cannot be carried out on an ad hoc basis.

Occasionally temporary orders or experimental orders are introduced which require a slightly different process which still gives people an opportunity to put forward their views.

Temporary Orders may be used when works affecting the highway require short-term traffic restrictions.

Experimental Orders are used in situations that need monitoring and reviewing. These usually last no more than eighteen months before they are either abandoned, amended or made permanent.

Parking TROs
In May 2008 Devon County Council took over responsibility for the enforcement of parking restrictions and to assist with this all parking restrictions were consolidated into one countywide TRO.

Changes to this consolidation order are made through amendment orders. These amendment orders can change the articles (legal definitions of the restrictions) and/or the schedules (location descriptions).

See more at: http://www.devon.gov.uk/traffic-orders.htm#sthash.RGSXhXO9.dpuf

To search Devon County Council traffic orders and  make a comment about a traffic order please use the online traffic order search.

At Exeter HATOC, we are alway being told how expensive it is to draw up a Traffic Regulation Order and so I made the following Freedom of Information Request to Devon County Council:

I am interested in the component parts of drawing up a TRO and then implementing it

I realise that these costs will differ for different scheme, so I would like a such breakdown to look at a specific example of
Devon County Council (Various Streets, Exeter) (Control of Waiting) Amendment Order 2014

I would be grateful if the breakdown could include:
1) officer time drawing up the scheme

Officer time has not been recorded on this scheme but below is an example of charge-out rates for staff working on TROs.

Technician Range E                        £31 per hour
Senior Technician Range F          £37 per hour
Senior Officer Range H                 £48 per hour

The above rates for small non-complicated TRO (approx £700). If Committee reports and presentations are required then costs will rise accordingly.

2) costs involved with advertising the scheme


3) costs involved with signage and painting yellow lines


Screen shot 2015-07-26 at 19.04.20
FOI Request 3216696 | The cost of a TRO

Exeter HATOC | Pavement parking

Exeter Highways and Traffic Orders Committee [HATOC] meets on 28 July 2015 and once again is set to discuss the issue of pavement parking

10. Update on Parking on Pavements

In accordance with Standing Order 23(2) Councillor Owen has requested that the Committee consider this matter

Presentation by the Head of Highways, Capital Development and Waste

Electoral Division: all in Exeter

When Devon County Council took over parking enforcement on 08 May 2008, there wasn’t time to transfer the provisions of the Exeter Act 1987 at the same time.

Since then parking on pavements has been a constant feature on Exeter HATOC’s agend


9. Parking on Pavements and Enforcement
In accordance with Standing Order 23(2) Councillor Owen has asked that the Committee consider this item

Report of the Head of Highways and Traffic Management ( HTM/12/4 – text only | pdf ) (Page 23) on details of the relevant Act and enforcement.

Electoral Divisions: All in Exeter

*118. Parking on Pavements and Enforcement
(In accordance with Standing Order 23(2) Councillor Owen had asked that the Committee consider this item)

The Committee noted the report of the Head of Highways and Traffic Management (HTM/12/4 – text only | pdf ) on proposals for the County Council to take over parking enforcement from the Police (decriminalisation) regarding provisions within an Exeter City Council local Act implemented in 1987 in respect of prohibition of parking on verges, central reservations and footways.

The Neighbourhood Highway Group Manager reported that the Department of Transport has now published a Statutory Instrument that amends the schedules in the Traffic Management Act 2004 to decriminalise prohibition of parking on verges, central reservations and footways in Exeter City. The County Council would now check that the signs indicating the restricted areas and publicise that the provisions would now be enforced by Civil Enforcements Officers (and not the police). Current exemptions where permitted would still be applicable.

It was MOVED by Councillor Hobden, SECONDED by Councillor Leadbetter and
RESOLVED that this development be welcomed and that the new provisions be implemented as expeditiously as possible following appropriate consultation and publicity.


10.  Implementation and Enforcement of Parking on Footways and Verges
In accordance with Standing Order 23(2) Councillor Macdonald has requested that the Committee consider this item.

Electoral Division: All in Exeter

*132 Implementation and Enforcement of Parking on Footways and Verges
(In accordance with Standing Order 23(2) Councillor Macdonald has requested that the Committee consider this item).

(Councillor Bull attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).

The Neighbourhood Highway Group Manager reported that a review of the signage and their replacement was underway. Implementation of the new enforcement powers by the County Council (through the Civil Enforcement Officers) was planned for September 2012. Exemptions would be permitted under the regulations.

The Committee noted the position.


16. Various Highways Matters
In accordance with Standing Order 23(2) Councillor Bull has requested that the Committee consider the following items:
(b) Update on the pavement parking situation.

*162. Highways Matters
(In accordance with Standing Order 23(2) Councillor Bull had asked that the Committee consider the following items):
(b) Update on the pavement parking situation.

Although arising from a by-law from Exeter City Council, Devon County Council – as highways agency – are responsible for signage, etc. DfT have advised that additional signage is required (at intervals of around 400m) – how has this changed from the situation prior to 2008 change of parking enforcement operation? It is NOT a TRO matter but I’ve been advised that we should discuss a scheme for members to add additional exemptions to those that already have such exemptions (like Sussex Cl and Wiltshire Cl in Cowick).

The Head of Highways and Traffic Management reported that detailed discussion between the County Council and the Department of Transport were continuing. In the interim any suggested exemptions proposed by Members should be referred to the Exeter Neighbourhood Highway Team (Devon County Council) to assess.


10. Parking on Pavement
In accordance with Standing Order 23(2) Councillor Owen has requested that the Committee consider this matter.

Head of Highways, Capital Development and Waste to report.

Electoral Divisions: All in Exeter

*71 Parking on Pavements
(Councillor Bull attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).

In accordance with Standing Order 23(2) Councillor Owen had requested that the Committee consider what action could be taken to reduce parking on pavements.

The Head of Highways, Capital Development and Waste reported that following consultation with the Department for Transport he was developing proposals and options, in consultation with other local authorities and industry associations, to enable enforcement of parking on pavement restrictions whilst still maintaining, as appropriate, exemptions in respect of the more narrow and congested urban roads.

It was MOVED by Councillor Owen, SECONDED by Councillor Prowse and
RESOLVED that a report on proposals relating to enforcement of parking on pavements restrictions be presented to the next meeting of this Committee.


8. Parking on footways
Head of Highways, Capital Development and Waste to report.

Electoral Divisions: All in Exeter

*82 Parking on footways
The Head of Highways, Capital Development and Waste reported on the Pavement Parking Bill 2014-15 proceeding through Parliament to make provision for the safety, convenience and free movement on pavements of disabled people, older people, people accompanying young children, and other pavement users; to clarify, strengthen and simplify the law relating to parking on pavements in England and Wales; and for connected purposes. It was anticipated that the Bill would also cover inappropriate parking on verges. The County Council had made representation on this matter to the British Parking Association and the Parking and Traffic Regulations Outside London (PATROL) who would be consulting with other local authorities to ascertain best practice on how to deal with this matter in the interim.

Pending statutory and best practice guidance the County Council would not be proposing any policy changes but that a report would be submitted to Cabinet on future options at the appropriate time.


SW Exeter P&R – where will that traffic come from?

At the recent public consultation event on the proposed site, there was a curious display – one that on the face of it should undermine the whole concept of the siting of a park & ride scheme anywhere to the west of the city.

It was this one:

APHINGTON P&R: Origin of traffic on Alphington Road
APHINGTON P&R: Origin of traffic on Alphington Road

Let’s take a closer look at the pie-chart – taken at face value it is suggesting that 60% of the traffic currently using the Alphington Road corridor – and thereby potential users of the new P&R site by the Ide Interchange.

But the chart also raises a number of questions – questions that a statistician would be likely to ask.

Percentages in such diagrams hide a number of sins – where is the total number of vehicles surveyed?

Was it 100? Was it 1000? Or 10,000? and remember that 10,000 would only be about the number of vehicles using Alphington Road in a day.

So was the survey taken over an hour? A day? Or a week?

And how was the data collected?

Was it the result of roadside interviews? Or analysis of data collected by some sort of automatic numberplate recognition?

Earlier data collection has been well documented.

In August 2009, Parsons Brinckerhoff prepared  the Alphington Junction Part and Ride Transport Assessment.

The report contained a table of a survey was conducted by Parsons Brinckerhoff at Matford P&R in June 2003. Users of the P&R were asked the origin of their journey and the results are summarised in the table below.

Origin of Matford users
Origin of Matford users [2003]

In 2004, roadside interviews [RSI] were undertaken at several sites, detailed in the map below.

2004 Roadside Interview Sites
2004 Roadside Interview Sites

These RSI identified the total market for potential Park & Ride users was identified using the origin and destination locations of cars.

This data was used in the Devon County Council’s Alphington Interchange Park and Ride Transport Report published in March 2011.

Origin of traffic from 2004 Road Side Interviews
Origin of traffic from 2004 Road Side Interviews

So is that new pie-chart an outlier? I believe so, and I think the problem stems from WHEN the data was collected.

I’ve already suggested there was a problem presenting undated data, so f my guess is correct, the figures stem from 2014 when Junction 29 was being remodelled and unusual traffic movements would mean drivers were seeking new and unusual ways to get into the city centre.

Whatever the reason for the errors, DCC must stop using this chart if they want to convince people that a P&R scheme is necessary on this site!

UPDATE [24 July 2015]
I have heard from DCC over their definition of East and West.

It appears that those coming from the East aren’t following a star or anything, but from A30 East or from Teignbridge and Plymouth direction. Which in turn means come from the (south) west, via A38 not the east and M5

The data was collected from from Roadside Interviews (RSIs) which are the most accurate surveying method for being able to establish where drivers are starting and ending their journey and therefore what the potential market for Park and Ride may be.

Due to the significant disruption and cost associated with organising these surveys, RSIs are rarely undertaken to support Transport Assessments for planning applications (so in this respect, having the data is a luxury).

There is no intention to undertake any further surveys of this type but I am told  that the Transport Assessment will use Automatic Traffic Count 2014 data.

Generally, the Department for Transport considers traffic data collected within 5 years of the submitted analysis to be suitably representative of conditions

Public consultation event on proposed new site for SW Exeter Park & Ride

For many years, Devon County Council has maintained that the only possible site for a Park & Ride scheme to serve the west of Exeter. So much so, DCC have already tried – unsuccessfully – to give permission to 2 planning applications on the site of Oaklands Riding Stables (owned by the Newberry family)

Trying for third time lucky, DCC were in the process of submitting an application earlier this year – so confident were they, that a workshop for key stakeholders was arranged and advertised. This was cancelled at a week’s notice.

Thanks to the hard work of Juliet Meadowcroft, Chair of Alphington Village Forum, a new site – the Round Field also owned by the Newberrys – was considered as a suitable alternative to theOakdlnds fields.

This new site is adjacent to the A30/A377 interchange (between the westbound A30 slip road and the road that leads out towards Ide).

On 21 July 2015, DCC launched a public consultation and this was accompanied with an event at West Exe School.

ALPHINGTON P&R: Introduction
ALPHINGTON P&R: Introduction


ALPHINGTON P&R: 1 (of 3)
ALPHINGTON P&R: Why is the site needed – 1 (of 3)


ALPHINGTON P&R: Why is the site needed - 2 (of 3)
ALPHINGTON P&R: Why is the site needed – 2 (of 3)

This graphic is interesting!

It shows the traffic flow along Alphington Road. I can quote it like a mantra ” 1000 cars an hour in both directions between 7am and 7pm”. I’ve known and loved this factoid since I started to take an interest in the siting of a Park & Ride.

But since then, DCC have carried out improvements alterations along Alphington Road and constructed the Grace Road Link into Marsh Barton, so I’m surprised that the graph doesn’t reference when the data they used was taken.

Is this previous data presented again? Or has there been a new survey since the failure of the 2011 planning application?

No-one at the event could provide an answer.

But even more curious is the pie-chart (apart from the use of percentages rather than actual numbers) – and the idea that 60% of the traffic using the Alphington Road corridor originates to the EAST of the city.

If this the case, why is the new Park & Ride scheme being developed to the WEST?

Once again, the pie-chart bears no clue as to when the survey was carried out. Could it be that the survey contributing to this graphic was taken during 2014 when Junction 29 was being remodelled?

ALPHINGTON P&R: Why is the site needed - 3 (of 3)
ALPHINGTON P&R: Why is the site needed – 3 (of 3)


ALPHINGTON P&R: Where should it be sited?- 1 (of 3)
ALPHINGTON P&R: Where should it be sited?- 1 (of 3)


ALPHINGTON P&R: Where should it be sited?- 2 (of 3)
ALPHINGTON P&R: Where should it be sited?- 2 (of 3)


ALPHINGTON P&R: Where should it be sited?- 3 (of 3)
ALPHINGTON P&R: Where should it be sited?- 3 (of 3)

ALPHINGTON P&R: Preferred option- 1 (of 2)ALPHINGTON P&R: Preferred option- 1 (of 2)ALPHINGTON P&R: Preferred option- 1 (of 2)

ALPHINGTON P&R: Preferred option- 1 (of 2)
ALPHINGTON P&R: Preferred option- 1 (of 2)


ALPHINGTON P&R: Preferred option- 2 (of 2)
ALPHINGTON P&R: Preferred option- 2 (of 2)


ALPHINGTON P&R: What will it look like? - 1 (of 4)
ALPHINGTON P&R: What will it look like? – 1 (of 4)


ALPHINGTON P&R: What will it look like? - 2 (of 4)
ALPHINGTON P&R: What will it look like? – 2 (of 4)


ALPHINGTON P&R: What will it look like? - 3 (of 4)
ALPHINGTON P&R: What will it look like? – 3 (of 4)


ALPHINGTON P&R: What will it look like? - 4 (of 4)
ALPHINGTON P&R: What will it look like? – 4 (of 4)