‘Back to bad old days’ if Barnstaple road reopens

All quiet: Residents say they fear the return of the traffic jam if Taw Vale in Barnstaple was reope

All quiet: Residents say they fear the return of the traffic jam if Taw Vale in Barnstaple was reopened to allow traffic to drive on to the Square once more.. - Credit: Archant

Residents fear a reopened Taw Vale in Barnstaple could bring traffic and congestion back to their streets.

A decision by town councillors to lobby for the ‘reopening’ of Taw Vale in Barnstaple to traffic has been met with protest by some residents.

They fear a return to the days of congestion, noise and pollution if the road reverts to allow drivers to access the Square and Longbridge.

It follows the council’s planning and transportation committee agreeing to write to Devon County Council supporting various measures for the town centre traffic system proposed by Councillor Simon Harvey.

In 2009, Karen Laird gathered a petition of 649 signatures calling for the road to remain exactly as it has been since the creation of the downstream bridge and Western Bypass.

The Taw Vale resident says she would dread a return to the bad old days.

“People are more than happy with the street as it is and it’s absolute bliss at the moment,” she said.

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“Lots of people run, cycle or walk their dogs along here and it is now a sought after part of the town.

“I think the bridge made a massive difference and most tend not to drive here now as there really is no need.”

Tony Binns from Newport is also keen to see things stay just as they are: “I can’t see the point of reopening that roundabout after all the years of trouble we had,” he said.

“There was stationary traffic up Newport and along the Vale – the idea of re-organising the town centre was to divert that along the link road. It would be a waste of taxpayers’ money and a crazy idea to try and resolve the problem.”

Town councillor Steve Upcott said: “Opening the roads as Cllr Harvey demands could result in a bill of £100,000 from the highways budget, just to change the system to suit him.”

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