County says no’ to traffic flow changes on Barnstaple Square

DEVON County Council has insisted there will be no u-turn on a controversial decision to limit the flow of traffic in Taw Vale, Barnstaple. North Devon MP Nick Harvey approached the council to ask highways officers to consider reinstating a left turn on

DEVON County Council has insisted there will be no "u-turn" on a controversial decision to limit the flow of traffic in Taw Vale, Barnstaple.

North Devon MP Nick Harvey approached the council to ask highways officers to consider reinstating a left turn onto the Square. Access onto the Square from Taw Vale was barred following the opening of the new Western Bypass and Downstream Bridge in 2007.

"There is ongoing concern over the impact of the new traffic layout in the Strand and Barnstaple Square on local residents and businesses," said Mr Harvey.

"In particular, many residents are unhappy that Litchdon Street has become a rat run due to the no left turn on the Square.

"Despite my representations, Devon County Council are adamant that there will be no change, arguing if the left-hand turn was re-instigated it would lead to traffic congestion similar to before the changes."

Edward Chorlton, the council's deputy chief executive, told Mr Harvey: "My concern with allowing a left turn into the Square towards Longbridge would be that we would encourage through traffic and erode the traffic reduction gains that have been achieved here.

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"The financial cost of reintroducing a left turn at Taw Vale would be about �100,000. However, I do not see that this could be justified and I hope you will agree there are many other factors to consider in ensuring best value to Barnstaple's environment, economy and public realm."

According to Devon County Council, following the implementation of the traffic management scheme which includes the restriction on Taw Vale, there has been a reduction of flow on many town routes. In particular, the traffic using Longbridge has fallen by 42 per cent. This has a very beneficial effect on the Seven Brethren junction.

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