Arguably, traffic congestion is one of the biggest problems facing Exeter today. A growing population and increases in people living in, visiting and working in the city mean that this will only become a bigger challenge and a potential inhibitor to future economic growth and quality of life. The road network already lacks resilience to major incidents on the motorway and any further development of land for housing and employment will potentially have a negative impact on the City’s road network and safety when using it.
Devon County Council, as the Transport Authority, are working with Exeter Council and local transport providers to manage the impact of traffic on the highway network and are implementing a range of congestion management solutions. However, financial constraints are restricting what can be done by any individual authority or organisation alone to mitigate the impact of continuing economic growth.
As Exeter continues to grow and we build the housing numbers required to support this growth it is critical that we find a way to work together to ensure that we can meet our vision of a safer, more connected city that remains to be a great place to live.
Imagining the Future of Exeter
Through our engagement activities with the diverse business and local communities of Exeter and by analysing best practices of other cities across the globe we have identified a set of features that Exeter will need to demonstrate in order to meet this Goal:
- Exeter’s transport is fully accessible to all disabled people due to improved infrastructure and vehicles.
- Elderly residents in Greater Exeter have access to all available forms of public transport and are confident in getting around the city
- Exeter’s roads are safe for everyone using them; there has been an 80% reduction (based on 2018 figures) in those killed or seriously injured due to avoidable incidents on the Greater Exeter region’s roads
- Exeter’s buses are punctual, unimpeded by congestion on the roads, resulting in an increase in passenger numbers year-on-year with the growth supporting investment in services
- Exeter’s transport network is resilient to major incidents on regional roads ensuring that Exeter residents can reliably move around the City
- Exeter’s public transport service and network of safe cycling and walking routes, ensures that all residents can access employment and education opportunities in under 1 hour of travel.
- New housing and commercial developments in Exeter are designed in such a way as to be accessible without adding additional burden to the City’s road network
- Exeter’s residents can be confident that they can reach their destination in a consistent time from day to day