Traffic block 'improved our lives'

PEOPLE living in the Litchdon Street, Taw Vale and Trinity Street areas of Barnstaple have presented a 639-name petition in support of the town s new traffic system. It was handed to the Leader of Devon County Council, Brian Greenslade, by organiser Karen

PEOPLE living in the Litchdon Street, Taw Vale and Trinity Street areas of Barnstaple have presented a 639-name petition in support of the town's new traffic system.It was handed to the Leader of Devon County Council, Brian Greenslade, by organiser Karen Laird on behalf of the Litchdon and Trinity Street residents associations.The restricted traffic access on roads such as the Strand and Taw Vale since the opening of the Western Bypass and new bridge has divided opinions, some arguing the lack of traffic has harmed local businesses or simply pushed bottlenecks elsewhere.But the residents' petition, addressed to the county council, reads: "The new schemes have improved the quality of life for residents and we urge you not to make any changes, particularly with regard to re-opening Taw Vale to general traffic on to the Square."Organiser Karen Laird, who lives at Taw Vale, added: "What a difference it has made, I have lived here for 16 years and have never seen so many people enjoying walking, jogging and cycling along the river front. "The quality of life is absolutely wonderful. It is like a breath of fresh air with less vehicle fumes and congestion." Councillor Greenslade said the petition was instigated by the residents themselves and he was pleased by the show of support:"Perhaps now the residents have clearly spoken, with considerable support from others in lower Newport, those who have sought to play party politics with this issue will think twice about it."People continually tell me how much better traffic moves in Barnstaple now and the work we have done in the Taw Vale area contributes to this."Congratulations to Karen on the initiative and thanks to Michelle Watkin and Steve Keech of the two residents associations for their support."l Some have campaigned against the closure of the Strand and Taw Vale. Cllr Simon Harvey says businesses are "haemorrhaging money" because there is now no passing traffic. He is hoping to form an action group to tackle the problem. North Devon Council leader Mike Harrison said Devon County Council has made it clear it will not consider re-opening either road. But Cllr Harrison added: "We might not want to open the Strand or Taw Vale but we can't just let the neighbourhood shopping area in Newport die.


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