Bold strategic approach needed on low traffic neighbourhoods, say Greens

As Devon County Council continues a series of consultations on making streets safer from the impacts of traffic [1], Exeter Greens have called for a city-wide strategic approach, similar to one that is proposed in Birmingham [2]. 

Greens say that the scale of the transition needed due to the climate crisis and impact of air pollution requires a whole city approach to low traffic neighbourhoods, rather than the current  piecemeal approach. They also urge the County Council to be bold in their proposals, pointing to the results of a consultation on permanent changes to Magdalen Road in St Leonard’s. Here, the Labour strong Highways and Traffic Orders Committee backed away from supporting further pedestrianisation measures, despite popular support [3].

Green councillor, Amy Sparling, said:

"Birmingham is one of the most car-centric cities in England, yet the Council there is proposing to drive through bold changes that will transform streets, making them safe for active travel and preventing rat-running through neighbourhoods.

"This city-wide strategic approach is badly needed for Exeter rather than a piecemeal approach which leaves some streets with less traffic and safer to walk and cycle, but others with more traffic, and more pollution. 

"Birmingham City Council is also being upfront about the scale of the plans, informing residents that the allocation of road space will cease to prioritise private cars, and space will be reallocated to delivering public transport and active travel."

Cllr Diana Moore added:

"As well as contributing to the climate emergency, Exeter's on-going dangerous levels of air pollution are seriously affecting residents' health - leading to respiratory illness and reduced life expectancy - and cyclists and pedestrians are being killed and injured on our streets. We need a bold response to ensure Exeter meets its commitment to become a Net Zero city by 2030, creating a whole city that is cleaner, healthier and safer for all."



[1] The current consultations in the Heavitree and Whipton and Queen Street and Iron bridge areas follow temporary ‘pop-up’ measures implemented during the coronavirus pandemic. Each consultation offers a range of possible permanent measures, with varying restrictions to motorised traffic: