Barnstaple bridge helps win Devon a travel 'Oscar'
BARNSTAPLE S �42 million Western Bypass has helped Devon County Council win a transport Oscars at an awards ceremony on Wednesday night. Devon beat finalists Aberdeenshire, Leicestershire County, London Borough of Hackney and Nottingham City Councils to
BARNSTAPLE'S �42 million Western Bypass has helped Devon County Council win a transport "Oscars" at an awards ceremony on Wednesday night.
Devon beat finalists Aberdeenshire, Leicestershire County, London Borough of Hackney and Nottingham City Councils to receive the most coveted prize, the Transport Local Authority of the Year, at the prestigious National Transport Awards. It makes the county council one of only two local authorities, with Cambridge, to win the award twice, after Devon last won the title in 2006.
The council was presented with the award by Paul Clark MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, at the ceremony in London after it was recognised for its work in making travel in Devon easier, safer and greener.
The judges were looking for inspiring projects that had made a real difference to transport, and they felt that Devon had excelled at this.
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The council was praised Barnstaple bypass which has dramatically cut traffic in the town centre. It was also commended for the new low-floor double-deck buses on the Exeter-to-Newton Abbot bus service, and its 11 Fare Car schemes which are providing transport for people in rural areas. Judges also highlighted that travel plans are in place at 89 per cent of Devon's schools, and that in Exeter 20 per cent of secondary schoolchildren cycle to school compared with 2 per cent nationally.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said: "It is a marvellous honour to win this award, but to win it twice is an outstanding achievement.
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"I would like to express my thanks to all of the staff at Devon County Council who have helped make this possible, and they should take great pride in the council receiving the top prize at the country's most prestigious award ceremony for transport.
"It shows that Devon is taking this issue seriously and it recognises the work that is already being done to improve travel and reduce congestion around the county."
The National Transport Awards are supported by the Department for Transport in association with Transport Times magazine.