Traffic calming planned for Barnstaple street

New crossings and removal of loading bays earmarked for Boutport Street.

A series of traffic calming measures are set to go ahead at Boutport Street in Barnstaple to make it safer for pedestrians.

The North Devon Highways and Traffic Orders Committee has given the green light for plans to create raised crossing areas at the junctions with Queen Street and Butchers Row.

A report to the Devon County Council committee said the busy stretch between Queen Street and Bear Street had emerged as a crash site in recent years and the main cause of collisions was “conflict between pedestrians and motor vehicles.”

The roadway between the two crossing areas is to be widened to maintain a five metre lane width between the bus stops, improving sight lines to the crossing points at the end of Butchers’ Row. The footway will be kept at a minimum of three metres.

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Two planters by the Butchers Row junction will be removed and it is proposed to provide two benches on the widened pavement.

Following advertisement and consideration of any objections, it is also proposed to remove the loading and disabled parking bays opposite the Queens Theatre and replace them with no waiting. The existing loading bay outside the theatre will remain.

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The report said this was designed to improve access for public transport and large goods vehicles.

Barnstaple Town Councillor Simon Harvey is already unimpressed by work nearby which saw a raised hump at the junction of Cross Street and High Street plus what he describes as “a monument to a sign” at the bottom of Cross Street.

He fears unless a central refuge is provided at the raised crossings, it will make it more dangerous for disabled people or the elderly to cross.

“A dedicated crossing is needed almost opposite Butchers Row,” he said. “If they are looking at developing bear Street and Queen Street surely now is the time to put a proper crossing in?”

Mr Harvey said was a mistake to remove disability bays opposite the theatre, when there was not enough disabled parking in the town as it was.

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