Better traffic management, more cycle paths and ‘green’ transport proposed for Ottery

More electric car charging points are among the proposals for Ottery. Picture: Terry Ife

More electric car charging points are among the proposals for Ottery. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

New speed limits, better traffic management and a network of cycle paths are being proposed in Ottery St Mary.

At the town council’s meeting on Monday, June 15, several ideas arose from a report on ways to introduce more ‘shared pathways’ for walkers and cyclists and widen some pavements, to create space for social distancing.

The report, compiled by Cllr Dean Stewart, included recommendations from Ottery’s Climate Action Report and ideas from members of the public and other councillors.

As its contents were discussed, councillors came up with a raft of other proposals including ideas for better traffic management in the town centre, an electric bus and moves to encourage car-sharing.

Cllr Stewart said: “We came up with dozens of great ideas, some of which may prove to be impossible or too expensive, but we are going to try and do everything on that list.”

The proposals include a 20mph limit throughout the town, with a 30mph or 40mph restriction on most lanes to outlying villages, and changes to traffic priorities to reduce bottlenecks and jams.

Another idea is to widen the pathways around Broad Street by using planters to create a physical barrier and improve its appearance.

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Among the proposed routes for walkers and cyclists was a shared path from Ottery towards Otter Nurseries, improvements to the route along a section of the Harpford railway line, and routes linking Ottery with local employment areas.

Councillors looked at ways of increasing car-sharing, including an Ottery-specific website and app, a new Facebook page and a physical message-board in the town centre. There could also be marked spaces where people could meet for car-sharing journeys.

It was suggested that the community 381 bus could be made into an electric vehicle, and the district council could be asked to provide more charging points for electric cars in the town.

Because the ideas arose from discussions and were not on the official agenda, they could not be voted on at that meeting.

But they will be carried forward to the next meeting on Monday, July 6, when councillors will discuss them further and put them to the vote.