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New cycle lanes: pop-up become permanent in Exeter

  • by JW

Calling for Exeter to become a ‘zero-emissions transport city’ and the ‘electric bike capital of the South West’.


The county council has been keen to promote cycling:

Investing in better cycling routes in Devon – Vision Group for Sidmouth


But measures have not been completely successful in Exeter:

New cycle lanes and wider pavements: abandoned in Exeter – Vision Group for Sidmouth


And, indeed, there has been something of a backlash:

Pop-up cycle lane in Exeter ‘vandalised’ – Devon Live

Exeter cyclist reports 14 motorists who went down pop-up bike lane |


It seems that this is happening in other areas:


Efforts to spark a green ‘cycling revolution’ are causing road rage on some British streets

As residents and officials move to turn rat-runs into havens, some streets and roads are increasingly becoming combat zones

If the inspiration is to promote peace, calm and tranquillity, the results are far from it. Measures to moderate motor vehicles on suburban streets across the country are inciting counter measures of less mellow motivation – some even potentially murderous…

Efforts to spark a green ‘cycling revolution’ are causing road rage on some British streets

Although it is questionable that you can describe an area a ‘haven’ when all varieties of 2, and perhaps 3, wheeled transport is still zooming about it.


Nevertheless, despite these setbacks, there have been moves in the other direction:


Call to make Exeter pioneering ‘zero-emissions transport city’ and ‘South West electric bike capital’

Progressive Group councillors in Exeter have called for it to become a ‘zero-emissions transport city’ and the ‘electric bike capital of the South West’.

The quartet of representatives have written to the leader of the city council urging him to collaborate with County Hall chiefs on the matters. They say that, if the authorities work together and take advantage of a new ‘Gear Change’ government cycling and walking strategy, Exeter could become a pioneer.

Whitehall is looking to fund at least one ‘demonstration city’ to create a zero-emission transport system, writes Local Democracy Reporter Daniel Clark. This would involve extensive bike lanes, an all-electric bus fleet and steering petrol and diesel vehicles away from the city centre.

Calls for Exeter to be ‘Gear Change’ city – Radio Exe

Call to make Exeter ‘zero-emissions city’ & ‘SW electric bike capital’


And this week, the city council have decided to go further:


Many of Exeter’s pop-up measures will be permanent

Some of the pop-up measures put in place in Exeter to support cycling and walking are set to be made permanent – but the closure of Vaughan Road is to be removed. A series of measures across the city had been put in place to encourage short trips to be done and to create the conditions to encourage walking and cycling in the city as a result of the coronavirus pandemic…

Magdalen Road

In June, a temporary one-way system was introduced in Magdalen Road by Devon County Council to make it safer and more convenient for those on foot or on bikes, while also allowing more room for people to socially distance during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

But the proposals have proven controversial, with some traders having welcomed the changes and say they want them to become permanent, and others are calling for it to be put back to the way it was and say it has had a negative impact on businesses.

Mr Pratt said that results from the initial consultation showed that 39 per cent were happy with the changes, 20 per cent thought that something should have been done but the scheme should have been designed better, while 42 per cent said they should be removed. He added that 63 per cent of people wanted further discussions about what happens with the shopping street going forward.

Many of Exeter’s pop-up measures will be permanent – Devon Live


And in fact, it is proving more straightforward in Exeter than in some other parts of the country:

Pandemic Pop-Ups Made Permanent In Exeter But Tyneside Set To Dismantle Popular Cycleway


With even further measures to be discussed by the city council:

Improvements to Exeter cycle routes set to be discussed


Whilst some would go even further – as the photograph from four months ago suggests:


Unofficial lane markings, Barrack Road, Exeter

The protest group, Extinction Rebellion, painted extra cycle outlines in a cycle lane to make it into a “priority lane” approaching the hospital during the pandemic. These two are in white and blue; another was in red

Unofficial lane markings, Barrack Road,… © David Smith cc-by-sa/2.0 :: Geograph Britain and Ireland