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  • Writer's pictureJoemustdobetter - official

The Exmouth Gateway Consultation Part 2 - Please have your say. But not on the underpass…..

Updated: Nov 26, 2023

Devon County Council has launched the next phase of consultation for the Exmouth Gateway project. Some say it’s great, some think it’s a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist, but whatever, barring any last minute hitches with funding, it’s going to happen. So it’s vital that we as a town have our say.

We have until January 5th, 2024 to do so.

Btw - the Town and District councils have no direct say over what happens with this, even though we helped fund it… 🤷🏼‍♀️🤷‍♂️

First of all, visit this page and study the plans:

Keep that window open so you can see the map and information. Then open the consultation again on a different browser window and go to the survey link - you can’t view the map from the survey page otherwise.

But please bear in mind the following points. Controversial bit coming up…

The underpass has, councillors have been informed, been removed entirely from the plans. It will be filled in, no matter the results of the consultation. Indeed, over 50 percent of you have said you didn’t want that to happen already. But surveys and professional advice has said that it poses a danger to the personal safety of users, takes up too much room and is used in less than 2 in 10 journeys from one side of the road to the other. I’m not so sure, but I’m 100 percent certain that they’ll not change their mind.

So, in order that we can still make the best of this, we need to accept that - as hard as it seems to do so. So focus comments on the things that are still on the table.

There are some multiple choice questions about certain aspects of the plans, but only one place where you can say what you really think - a ‘Do you have any further comments?’ - section at the end. It might be an idea to consider your answer and write it somewhere else in advance - then simply copy and paste it into the form.

Please note - it is the intention that paper copies of the consultation are to be made available at the Town Hall, library and Tourist Information Centre on the Strand.

Does it meet the brief?

The idea of this is to create a welcoming space into the town from which they can easily find the town and the beach - it’s supposed to guide them there easily, and make it easier for them to have used public transport or bikes / their legs.

Does this achieve that goal?

Not so magic roundabouts?

If you study the map closely, you’ll see that there are plans (not concrete at this stage - traffic management surveys are still being carried out) to reduce the space the roundabout tarmac takes up, and potentially remove the filter lanes from the two Imperial Road entrances to it - to ‘reduce people overtaking on the roundabout’, leaving a large raised area of empty space where once there was road. Er… ok. I’d ask you to think very carefully about this - do you think this would cause traffic chaos? All traffic entering the roundabout would have to do so from only one lane. These surveys are being carried out in the winter - does that give a true picture? Stopping them speeding between the two roundabouts doing doughnuts at 2am would be great too btw…

Should we lay the table?

At Manchester Street and two crossings on The Royal Avenue, they will be using raised table crossings (crossings at kerb level, which slow cars down and prioritise pedestrians while also helping disable access). What are your thoughts on this?

Narrower Roads, Wider Paths, Happier People?

On the Imperial Road outside KFC, Dominos Pizza etc, the road will be narrowed and the path widened. DCC say this will enable greater pedestrian safety and access improvements. They also say that the idea is to prevent the double parking on that piece of road (with a narrower road, anyone doing so would be blocking the road). But where will the delivery vehicles that use the takeaways go? To the car parks, like they should probably be doing now? What controls are needed here to ensure this works? Or is it a bad idea altogether?

Pedestrian Crossings

The Zebra crossing out side the station will be moved slightly towards the roundabout and turned into a controlled crossing i.e. one with traffic lights. This will, it is said, improve traffic flow as it will stop delays when a train deposits hundreds of people at once. They’ll all, theoretically, cross at once when the lights are red rather than in dribs and drabs.

There’ll be a new zebra crossing onto the new widened path outside KFC etc, and another at the end of the The Royal Avenue (the road that goes round the back of the station)

Do I look OK?

Look at the pictures as well as the plans - are you happy with the designs? Does it look like a pleasant place? What improvements would you make.

Improved Bus Waiting Area? What’s one of those, then?

This is one vague area in the plan - there’s not much detail of what this would entail. Tell DCC what a comfortable, usable bus stop would mean for you.

Any more for any more…

Do you have any thoughts about anything else?!

What about the area behind the station, the current Stagecoach office and the EDDC toilets which, much to my dismay, are under threat of closure?

Thanks for reading this far - Please spread the word, repost this / the consultation page / your thoughts and let’s at least make sure that we’ve spoken out as a town.

Off you go and fill it in then….Thanks!

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