Safety is to be improved for pedestrians and cyclists on Heavitree Road.
Devon County Council will start work to upgrade the crossing at the junction of Heavitree Road, Denmark Road and Russell Street on Monday (4 February).
The scheme, which is expected to take eight weeks, will move the existing crossing closer to the junction and traffic signals will be installed.
The path on Russell Street will be widened to create an off-road cycle route, making it more user-friendly for bicycles and for those with mobility problems. There will also be a build out to the crossing point at the end of Denmark Road, providing a more direct route. The cycle route will form part of the strategic route linking the city centre to the Redhayes Bridge over the M5 and the Exeter and East Devon Growth Point.
In order to create the wider path, it is necessary to make Denmark Road one-way from Athelstan Road towards Heavitree Road, and Russell Street will be one-way from Heavitree Road towards the triangle car park for a short section. Traffic signals at the junction will also enable a right turn phase out of Denmark Road which is currently prohibited.
Parking in Denmark Road, between Athelstan Road and Heavitree Road, and Russell Street, from Heavitree Road for 30 metres, will be restricted for the duration of the works. At times during the work the bus lane on Heavitree Road will also be closed between College Road and Western Way for safety reasons.
Most of the work will take place Monday to Friday during working hours but surfacing and other work on Heavitree Road is scheduled to take place on Sunday 17 March and overnight from Monday 18 March until Friday 22 March. During this work Heavitree Road will operate with a one-way system and part of Denmark Road and Russell Street will be closed.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said: “Concerns were raised by residents and Newtown Primary School about safety at the current crossing. This scheme has been developed to address those issues and to improve access for those with mobility problems. Every effort will be made to minimise disruption and access to properties will be maintained during the work. The aim is that this scheme will encourage more people to make shorts journeys in the area by bike or on foot.”
Councillor Richard Westlake, Devon County Councillor for Newtown and Polsloe, said: “I am pleased that the County Council has responded to residents’ concerns over the safety on the crossing. We must however address parking issues raised by residents as a matter of urgency.”
The scheme was approved by Exeter HATOC earlier this month after a local consultation at the end of last year. Over 100 people responded during the consultation period, of which 80% expressed support.
The average daily traffic flow on Heavitree Road has decreased by 13% between 1998 and 2011, the equivalent to a reduction of more than 2,500 vehicles a day, and the impact of this new scheme on journey times is estimated to be marginal. Timings of the signals will be monitored to minimise any delays.