Calls to think again on Barnstaple traffic congestion
16:20 12 February 2013
Ideas for town centre traffic solutions to be put to county council.
THE reopening of Taw Vale in Barnstaple to traffic could be a step closer after councillors supported a raft of proposals to help resolve congestion in the town centre.
On Thursday, Barnstaple Town Council’s planning and transportation committee voted on various solutions proposed by Councillor Simon Harvey, who has long campaigned for Taw Vale to reopen.
It followed a presentation of Devon County Council’s Barnstaple Transport Strategy by county planning officer Lewis Ward.
Councillors agreed with five of Mr Harvey’s six suggestions and it was resolved to write to the county supporting them, but they turned down a proposal to reopen The Strand to traffic.
They agreed that traffic should be allowed to turn onto the Longbridge from Taw Vale. They also favoured improved signage to restrict vehicles from Lower Boutport Street turning onto The Square; removing the pedestrian crossing on Belle Meadow Road and synchronising the crossing lights at the Square and to link Seven Brethren to Tesco.
“I am pleased the town council has recognised things are not working as they should, and I would now like the county council to look at this and review it,” said Mr Harvey.
“The transport strategy document is seriously flawed – although it seeks to address issues on the perimeters of Barnstaple, there is no mention of the central area in Barnstaple which is congested.”
County councillor, Rodney Cann has put the reopening of The Strand on the agenda for the next HATOC (highways) committee meeting:
He said: “The part closure of Rolle Street seems to have brought the whole issue to a head now. I think there has been enormous public pressure to look at traffic congestion in Barnstaple.”
The Barnstaple Transport Strategy details 20 schemes for Barnstaple, including a £1.5million expansion of Roundswell roundabout, a two-bridge scheme over the railway line and A361, plus proposals for a £3.5m pedestrian bridge across the Taw from Anchorwood.