Consultation about temporary measures
Fore Street in Topsham could be temporarily turned into a pedestrian zone, under new plans being out for consultation.
Exeter City Council and Devon County Council are looking at ways of getting the Exeter suburb back to business following the coronavirus pandemic, keeping businesses, shoppers and visitors safe.
A number of its streets have narrow pavements, and in Fore Street the shops open up onto them, making social distancing difficult. Options to create a safe shopping environment have been assessed in line with government guidance on creating safer public spaces during the pandemic, and the councils have selected their preferred option that provides more space for shoppers.
Under the temporary plans being put forward:
· Fore Street would become a pedestrian zone, with on-street parking suspended and vehicle access limited to deliveries and residents needing to get to their houses
· A gateway feature would be created at the entrance to the new pedestrian zone by the Fire Station on Fore Street, with traffic calming measures
· Exe Street and Victoria Road would become one-way into Fore Street
· Additional cycle parking would be provided near the fire station and St Nicholas Methodist Church, to give cyclists easy access to shops
· New signage for drivers and pedestrians.
David Harvey, lead councillor of environment and city management said that Topsham was a much-loved town for both those who lived there and those that chose to visit. He said: “The nature of the virus and the practical steps that need to be taken to reduce transmission, coupled with the historic character of the town, meant that a unique solution was needed for the town.
“We realise that changes to Topsham, even temporary ones, could cause concern and that’s why we want to hear from people first before anything is done. However, we have been asked to move quickly in order to help Topsham and other towns recover as soon as possible,” he added.
People can see the plans by visiting the city council’s website at www.exeter.gov.uk and making any comments by completing the online form before midday on 30 June.