THE Exeter Magdalen Road improvement scheme is nearing completion, with road closures to be lifted this Saturday, May 27 and the existing one-way system extended to Fair Park Road. 

All that remains is the completion of some minor residual works to footways, which will start on the week commencing May 29. These will not require road closures.

This scheme has made the temporary measures, which were introduced on the road in June 2020, permanent. 

The original scheme was partly in response to the pandemic, using funding from the government’s Emergency Active Travel Fund.

It aimed to encourage walking and cycling by creating a more attractive urban environment, while maintaining vehicular access for local businesses and residents. 

The changes put in place include a one-way system for vehicles between College Road and Denmark Road, two-way cycling, and a widened footway on the northern side of the road. 

And now the works have been completed, this one-way system can now be extended onto the Fairpark Road junction as part of a temporary trial. 

It’s being introduced following feedback from local residents and new data that shows increased traffic on Denmark Road.  

The extended one-way system aims to mitigate the impact of increased traffic. 

Other changes being made to Magdalen Road include a new restricted parking zone, a raised crossing point, additional planting and cycle parking. 

New permanent waiting restrictions come into force on Magdalen Road from today, Friday, May 26, and parking and loading will be prohibited outside of the marked bays. 

The marked bays have signs indicating the permitted length of stay. 

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highway Management said: “I’m delighted that the changes introduced in 2020 have now been made permanent. 

“It’s created a nicer environment for walkers and cyclists and will reduce traffic flows and make walking and cycling a more attractive option. 

“It also supports the County Council’s Climate Emergency declaration and the adopted Exeter Transport Strategy which encourages moving towards more sustainable modes of travel. 

“We are also trialling an extended one-way system to reduce the traffic coming through Denmark Road and we will continue to monitor that.

“I would like to thank the public and businesses for their co-operation and patience as well as Exeter City Council who provided spaces in the Magdalen Road Car Park for shoppers to use for free during this time.” 

Councillor Carol Whitton, the County Councillor for St David’s and Haven Banks, said: “The finished scheme, the widened pavements and new cycle parking looks amazing and are already encouraging local people to make use of the extended pavement space by spending more time browsing and enjoying the splendid village atmosphere. The new Magdalen Road is a welcoming and attractive space that I am sure will become the centre for many community events in the years to come. 

“I know that there were concerns that restricting car movements would impact trade and diminish the unique village atmosphere; but this really hasn’t proved to be the case. From what I’ve seen these changes have enhanced not diminished our community. They have also had the additional benefit of encouraging more people to take up cycling and walking and to leave their car at home.”