Monday, 21 February 2011

Alphington Park & Ride

Since the STOP Alphington Park & Ride meeting last week, I've been doing a lot of research to compile a submission to the Planning Committee tonight.

Here is my response:


I understand that the above planning application will be considered at tonight's meeting, and can I ask you to put the following points to the committee for consideration

1) It is against the Exeter Local Plan
The Local Plan affords this area 3 levels of protection. This was acknowledged by Devon County Council's Development Mangement Committee on 02nd December 2009

It is the Alphin Brook Valley Park, a Conservation Area and a Site of Nature Conservation Importance. These 3 things are very dear to local residents and believed that it afforded the area a strong degree of protection against development.

It appears that when carrying out a consultation exercise in 2008 to split the Conservation Area into 2 separate chunks, Exeter City Council determined to retain the Conservation as a whole, in part to allay residents fears about future development in this area.

I have been unable to gain access to the Alphin Brook Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan [Feb 2009] to see what that says about the area. [Richard: I was unable to download this Plan from the website. Is it possible to email me a copy?]

2) The scheme will have NO affect on the quality of air in the Alphington Road area
Another reason given for rejection of the scheme by Devon County Council's Development Mangement Committee on 02nd December 2009 was that the proposal would not result in an improvement to air quality within the Alphington Air Quality Management Area

In 2005, the Alphington Road Corridor was designated as an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) for Nitrogen Dioxide.

Yet, all the literature produced by Devon County Council notes that "the detailed air quality assessment, undertaken as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), predicted that by 2012 pollutant concentrations will have decreased to within the recommended levels irrespective of whether the {Alphington Park & Ride] scheme is open due to the continuing improvement in vehicle and fuel technology. As a result of the proposed scheme, no significant changes to air quality are predicted."

Nothing has changed in the intervening 2 years that suggest a marked improvement to air quality would result from this scheme.

3) The proposal will do little to ease congestion along the Alphington Road approach to Exeter
P&R schemes can only work if they provide a convenient and efficient alternative route into the city. These proposals do not offer either as they do little to reduce congestion

800 cars removed from a constantly hourly flow of some 1100 into AND out of the city throughout there day.

Park & Ride buses will sit in traffic congestion both when full during peak rush hours into/out of the city AND as they return in the opposite direction. An efficient, reliable bus service cannot be guarenteed or maintained in these circumstances.

It seems from the figures for patronage presented by Devon County Council do not suggest that DCC think the scheme will be as successful as that at Matford. Currently Marton P&R runs at capacity and with a capacity of some 500 cars has a patronage of 229. Yet a patronage of 202 for a P&R scheme that offers space for 833 cars, when full capacity would suggest an expected patronage of approaching 400 on an admittedly congested route into Exeter does not offer recompense for the distress caused by this proposal.

I believe that if such a proposal came before Devon County Council's Highways Agency they would oppose it solely on the number of junctions they wish to build between the A30/A377 interchange at Ide and Alphington Cross.

In conclusion I believe that the positive advantages of this proposal have been over-estimated at the same time as the negative effects have been under-estimated.

I await the outcome of the deliberations of tonight's Planning Committee with interest.

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