DEVON TOWN REJECTS PLANS TO PEDESTRIANISE


Plans to temporarily pedestrianise Topsham to make it safer will not take place, following the results of a snap poll.

Officers at both Exeter City Council and Devon County Council had been working on an option to keep businesses, shoppers and visitors safe from covid-19.

Despite their appeal, the footways in Topsham are too narrow to safely achieve the social distancing measures currently prescribed by government.

Exeter City Council say: “Elected members and officers will now explore if there are any alternative safety measures in line with government advice that could be brought in. The potential to reduce cars in Topsham in the long term, remains an option.”

Lead councillor for environment and city management, Cllr David Harvey, said: “The poll showed considerable support for some measures to reduce car use in Topsham. The Highway Authority, Devon County Council, are going to go away and look at some ideas to achieve this.”

Topsham ward councillor and Conservative leader Andrew Leadbetter, said: “Full pedestrianisation at this stage isn’t wanted by the traders and we respect that. There are genuine concerns around how this will impact business, and it comes after a three-month period that has seen trade drop.”

The main concerns raised were around the potential it could reduce the number of shoppers.

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.