OPPOSITION from residents has resulted in plans being shelved to improve bus services, reduce traffic congestion on Ashburton Road and support environmentally sustainable travel choices.

Some 80 per cent of consultation respondents opposed the proposals to create a bus and cycle gate between Hunterswell Road and Bradley Lane.

Common concerns raised in the month-long consultation held earlier this year included:

► Loss of resident parking

► Loss of trees and greenspace

► Safety issues

► Increased pollution

► How to prevent the proposed bus gate becoming a ‘rat run’

A spokesperson for Teignbridge Coiuncil said: ‘Having considered the consultation feedback, the council recognises that should new funding become available in future no scheme could progress which did not tackle the concerns raised and had greater public support.’

Executive Lead for Planning, Cllr Gary Taylor, thanked everyone who had participated in the consultation.

‘Tackling some of the issues that confront commuters travelling into Newton Abbot is important and we believed that the implementation of the consultation plans would have made a positive difference.

‘But it is clear that those who live close to where the bus and cycle gate were to be established disagree and it is essential that we listen and understand their concerns.’

Cllr Taylor said that the consultation had made people more aware of the issues faced when travelling into Newton Abbot, the lack of sustainable travel options and the problems experienced by those who increasingly rely on public transport.

Although the changes will not now go ahead, the council will continue to protect the cycling and walking link between Hunterswell Road and Bradley Lane.

Councillor Taylor added: ‘Improving sustainable travel and public transport remains an important goal of this council so we cannot rule out bringing forward new proposals in the years to come but I can assure residents that this would only happen if we were able to attract new funding and overcome the concerns raised during the consultation.’

The consultation, which ran from 1 July to 1 August, sought views on proposals to re-route the 77 (and potentially the 88 and 88C) bus service(s) from Ashburton Road, along Barton Drive, Hunterswell Road and Bradley Lane; and create a bus gate between Hunterswell Road and Bradley Lane.

In addition to comments from five stakeholder organisations, 414 questionnaires were completed, 23 letters and emails were received and 76 people attended a drop-in day at Newton Abbot Leisure Centre.

► The full consultation report, with all the facts and figures, can be viewed via the following link: https://www.teignbridge.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/consultation/bradley-lane-bus-link-proposal-response/

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