An expensive road-widening scheme in Exeter has done nothing to improve air quality at one of the city centre’s pollution hot spots, according to the Exeter Greens.
The Alphington Road scheme involved disruptive changes to junctions and the widening of a short section of outbound carriageway to two lanes.
The justification for the scheme, according to Devon County Council, was to relieve congestion and improve air quality along one of Exeter’s busiest corridors.
Green Party member Andrew Bell, candidate for St David’s and St James in the forthcoming County Council elections received a written response from Devon County Council to questions he raised about the scheme, but he and the Exeter Green’s aren’t satisfied.
Andrew said: “Knocking a few seconds off journey time for outbound drivers while serious congestion and air pollution remain further back along a road is not a good use of £1 million. What makes this scheme particularly wasteful is that the section of road widened never faced serious congestion anyway.
“The money for this scheme came largely from Local Transport Funding and would have been much better spent improving the cycling network and the quality of pavements and the walking environment generally. It could also have delivered significant bus priority measures, something that was promised around Exe Bridges years ago but has yet to be delivered”.
Andrew said: It is clear from responses to our questions that there have been no tests on air quality in the Exe Bridges area since the completion of the road widening scheme. So we don’t know whether the anticipated reduction in nitrogen oxide has occurred. I doubt it very much; and anyway, it was only forecast to reduce by 7%, which further demonstrates that this whole scheme was money badly spent.
“We need a strategic and radical approach to addressing Exeter’s appalling air quality. The Green Party has the vision and the practical ideas for relieving traffic congestion in Exeter. A few expensive road schemes just won’t do the job.”
Check out the full story on the Exeter Greens site.