A scheme to improve the reliability of bus services in Newton Abbot, reduce traffic congestion on Ashburton Road and support more environmentally sustainable travel choices will not be going ahead due to significant public opposition.
Public consultation for the Bradley Lane Bus Link proposals received a strong response with 414 questionnaires completed, 23 letters and emails received (including a petition signed by residents), and 76 people attended a drop-in day at Newton Abbot Leisure Centre. Five stakeholders also put forward their views and expertise.
The consultation, which took place from 1 July 2022 to 1 August 2022, presented 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.
Some 80% of public responses to the consultation were objections with several common issues and concerns raised. These included:
- Loss of resident parking
- Loss of trees and greenspace
- Safety issues
- Increased pollution
- The bus gate becoming a ‘rat run’
We believed the implementation of the plans would have made a positive difference to communities across Newton Abbot, whilst Newton Abbot Town Council and Transition Newton Abbot highlighted the wider benefits of improving public transport links throughout Newton Abbot and its surrounding villages. However, the Town Council also recognised how this scheme could negatively impact residents living along the proposed route. Many residents who responded to the survey were unconvinced that these proposals were needed or would make a difference to congestion.
Several recommendations were received from the public and stakeholders as to how the proposals could be improved or worked on further.
We remain committed to protecting the cycling and walking link between Hunterswell Road and Bradley Lane. We will only revisit other sustainable travel options if new funding becomes available and valid concerns from residents can be overcome.
Thank you to everyone who participated in this consultation.