Devon County Council are proposing to spend £6 million and concrete over fields between Exeter and Ide, currently home to dormice and slow worms, and have 24 hour high level lighting to boot. Why are they doing this? It all boils down to this : “We anticipate the scheme will remove approximately 10% of the inbound morning peak traffic that currently passes in on Alphington Street”; (email from Councillor Leadbetter, DCC to Ide resident).
This is the thinnest of possible arguments for such a damaging and expensive development. First, it is at best an hopeful guess that as many as 10% of current drivers entering Exeter the A30 interchange, will want to use the park and ride. But even more importantly, it is an accepted truth across the developed world, that removing cars from a road is the shortest of temporary fixes, because car drivers notice that the road is quieter and switch to using it again. As just one example, after spending millions on making the M25 wider, with better junctions, the government’s own evaluation study has found that traffic levels are higher and journey times slower than before the ‘improvements’ were done!
The consultation is now open at https://planning.devon.gov.uk/PlanDisp.aspx?AppNo=DCC/3846/2016. Please spend a few moments making your views known.