Transportation/Movement

This page is for comments on transportation/ movement associated with new development.

Comments on this page are by individuals and may not represent the view of the forum committee. Please also see comments from meeting of 26 February 2013.

The following emails have been received recently (30 November 2012) regarding Transportation/ Movement:

The topics being commented on are as follows:

1. new slip road from A379 to to A30 to direct eastbound traffic away from Alphington village.
2. one way on Chudleigh Road outwards (by installing traffic lights at A379/Chudleigh road junction to enable safe right turn onto A379 but with no left turn from A379 into Chudleigh Road). Dawlish road would then be one way into Alphington.
3. Keep two way on Chudleigh Road but install give-way chicanes
4. Keep Chudleigh Road as two way but still have no left turn from A379
5. Any other transportation/movement topic.
TM1 Topic 1 – Very unlikely to be agreed – big capital expenditure. In principle against new road schemes as they are expensive solutions which do nothing to tackle the underlying problem which is over dependence on the car.

TM2 Topics 2 and 3 – Again, I feel these measures are unlikely to be accepted. There would be an issue of speed along these roads if they are one way and traffic calming measures would need to be part of the changes. I am, however, strongly supportive of traffic calming measures in the village, particularly along Church Road and Chudleigh Road. I would like to see the space given to road users reduced and the very narrow and poor quality pavements expanded and upgraded. Chicanes combined with pinch points, safe crossing points and wider pavements send a clear message that pedestrians have priority in residential streets in Alphington.

TM3 Topic 4 – Good idea in principle, though I can imagine that some local residents might oppose not being able to enter the village this way?

TM4 Topic 5 – Others -Still very large lorries entering Marsh Barton along Church Road. Absolutely no reason for this with the Grace Road link now. There should be a complete ban on vehicles over 7.5 tonnes and no left turn at Alphin Brook along Church Road (accept for access) – both clearly signposted.

TM5 All topics – After considering each, not all of them will actually reduce it, only change traffic flow and concentrate it on particular roads. The Committee need to be clear what each option could deliver in terms of reducing traffic. In Alphington there is obviously a certain level of local traffic associated with the homes and businesses but we do also suffer from through traffic using the Chudleigh Road to get to either Alphington Cross or Marsh Barton. Are there traffic surveys available to show what traffic flow actually is and where it is going ? The reasons for the through traffic when there are alternative, signposted routes available is what should be considered. Would better traffic flow through Marsh Barton and improvement to the junctions at Sainsbury’s and Curry’s be better to stop the ‘in the know’ local drivers needing to use Alphington as a short cut or to avoid traffic? Or, should the 20mph limit actually be enforced, especially by the double mini roundabouts, as this could help to discourage the through traffic. If locals and buses all stuck to the speed limit this would be quite effective. If there isn’t a traffic survey, it would be relatively easy to do to get an idea of through traffic, in particular of lorries and vans to Marsh Barton. I myself see skip lorries quite often at the mini roundabouts obviously just driving through. With reference to public transport provision, the proposed high density housing needs to be designed in such a way as the allow the buses sufficient access  for driving and manouvering. Also, rear access to gardens is needed to facilitate bike use. If you have to push your bike through the house to lock it up at night in your garden this will discourage people from using bikes. I know it is obvious but with high density housing it is easy to overlook.

TM6 There have been some interesting thoughts and responses regarding issues related to transport recently. I would like to offer the following reflections: There seems to be an assumption that the new development will inevitably lead to increases in traffic in Alphington and in particular an increase in car journeys. I think the starting assumption should be that the development MUST NOT lead to any increase in traffic. I think we should be saying that the roads, air, climate are at capacity and CANNOT & MUST NOT take any further increases in traffic. With this as a starting point, we can then look at measures that can ensure that there is no increase, and even, over the next 10-20 years, a decrease in car usage and car ownership (and ultimately, car dependency). I would offer the following suggestions/measures, which collectively might ensure no net increase in traffic levels.

TM7 Ensure that a proportion of the housing (20-25% would seem reasonable) in the new development is car free, where residents are under a legal obligation not to own a car. In my original ‘design brief’ I identified the two legal clauses which form a car free agreement.Set up a car club in Alphington, paid for by the developer. The primary purpose of this will be to serve car free households within the new development, but it will also be of benefit to others in the village who do not have access to a car or choose for whatever reason not to own one. Car clubs have been shown to encourage people to sell their rarely used second/third cars making use of Club cars instead, so could be very beneficial to Alphington which has a high level of two or more car households. Car Clubs also support lower income groups to have access to a car by making it more cost-effective. Co-Cars, the Car Club in Exeter, carried out a survey of its members and found a 42% increase in usage of other forms of transport, including buses, with 75% of members driving less often and no one reporting an increase. For more on the advantages of Car Clubs see: http://www.co-cars.co.uk/about/innovative-sustainable-solutions/ c. Alphington already has an excellent public transport system (yes really!) The A bus runs every ten minutes during the daytime (which is the most that could be expected for a community of this size.) It generally runs to timetable (except when held up by traffic!); the buses are modern and comfortable. It will be vital to ensure that the new community is served by a 10 minute service as well and that roads are adopted BEFORE the first houses in the community are built. Too often, public transport is an after thought in developments and people move into houses before public transport is running. It needs to be in place and ready to run as the first houses become occupied. Developers should be made to subsidise the bus service for the first two years while people move into the development and while passenger numbers pick up. It will probably be necessary to establish an A1 and A2 service, serving different parts of Alphington (which could ultimately increase frequency in some parts of the village). One of the main issues preventing greater bus patronage is the cost of tickets. However, it is currently no more expensive to travel into the city centre by bus than it was 3-4 years ago (compare this with increases in costs of using the car over the same period); indeed it is actually cheaper than 2 years ago. The reduction in the price of the Dayrider ticket to £3.50 means no one need pay more than this to travel throughout the city for a whole day. Child fares and family fares are definitely an issue, though again, the introduction of the £1 child add-on ticket off peak and during school holidays has made bus travel more affordable for families. We need to promote the bus much more in Alphington making more people aware of the quality and frequency of service and the fares available.  d.It goes without saying that we need safe and direct cycle routes to and from the new development. On the whole, while there are issues of safety in the Marsh Barton area, there is a good network of safe cycle routes to local schools, the city centre and to St Thomas.  e.The existing community in Alphington needs to take responsibility for the issues of congestion and pollution; these are not problems being created by more housing, they are problems already. If we are to ensure that there is no net increase in traffic levels, those already here will need to reduce their own car dependency and usage, not simply cast the spotlight on those moving into Alphington. Hopefully, the potential benefits of new housing – a car club, increased bus frequency etc – will enable the existing community to feel they can make the switch to other forms of transport, even if for just a few journeys.  f. There have been comments circulating regarding changes to road systems – new slip roads, instigating one way systems, road widening etc. I do not favour this approach as it is somewhat defeatist – it presumes that the way forward is to accommodate ever increasing levels of car ownership and usage (or indeed the status quo). In fact, recent research suggests we may have reached ‘peak car’, (the point at which car ownership and usage gradually declines) and there has been a very slight decline in car journeys in Exeter over recent years. Not enough to make a significant difference of course and new developments threaten to counter the reduction, but it would appear we are beginning to head in the right direction! The Inside Out programme on BBC1 on Monday 3rd December at 7.30pm looks like it will be an interesting investigation into the future of transport href=”http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p011w6qp” target=”_blank”>http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p011w6qp. In conclusion, we need measures in place, from the outset, that will enable people moving into the new development, and indeed existing residents in Alphington, to be able to say, ”I could live here without owning a car”. As indeed I can say and I do!

TM8 One thing that I would like to be raised with the planners is the issue with parking for vehicles and general ability of the road to cope with the vehicles, when children are dropped off at Alphington Primary School. There is currently insufficient parking for vehicles and therefore they cannot increase the number of students at the school, unless this is addressed and adequate capacity provided. In addition a number of safety improvements are required in the vicinity of the school to ensure adequate protection to children and parents walking to school. Examples being:-1) More formal road crossing points 2) More pedestrian barriers on the pavements in the vicinity of the school 3) Moving a telegraph pole which is currently in the pavement on a bend, and restricting the pavement width. I have seen the busses coming very close to the children at this location.