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See the latest information and advice in Exeter. We are closely monitoring the situation and working with the government and NHS, who are well prepared to deal with this virus.

Topsham: back to business safely

7 July Update - Decision made after consultation

Plans to temporarily pedestrianise Topsham to make it safer will not take place following the results of our recent consultation.

Our own officers had been working with Devon County Council on an option to keep businesses, shoppers and visitors safe from COVID-19.

Despite their usual appeal, the footways in Topsham are too narrow to safely achieve the social distancing measures currently prescribed by Central Government.

Elected Members and officers will now explore if there are any alternative safety measures in line with Government advice that could be brought in.

The potential to reduce cars in Topsham in the long term remains an option.

Go to our news website to read the full story.


Temporary arrangements to get Topsham back to business safely

Officers at both Exeter City Council and Devon County Council have been working on potential ways to keep businesses, shoppers and visitors safe in Topsham.

Topsham is a much loved destination with both residents and visitors to the city. Like any other town, it has been affected by COVID-19, and we are keen to see it thrive once again.

The nature of the virus and the practical steps that need to be taken to reduce transmission means a unique solution could be needed for the town.

Despite their usual appeal, the footways in Topsham are too narrow to safely achieve the social distancing measures currently prescribed by Central Government.


Working on recovery

A team helping the recovery of the city have been working hard and modelling solutions.

They applied all of the government guidance included in ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19): Safer Public Spaces- Urban Centre and Green Spaces’. The guidance is to enable social distancing and install confidence that people can shop safely.

When applied in Topsham with its narrow footways, the only way to achieve social distancing is to remove on street parking to allow enough space for people to pass each other safely. This then prevents the passage of traffic and so temporary pedestrianisation is needed to maintain safety.

However we realise that changes to Topsham, even temporary ones, could cause concern.

We have been asked to move quickly in order to help Topsham and other towns recover as soon as possible.


The proposed plan

We have produced plans for a temporary solution on Fore Street, which will involve the creation of a pedestrianised zone between the Fire Station and White Street. This will create a safe space for shoppers with vehicle access only permitted for deliveries to businesses, and for residents of Fore Street and adjoining roads. Additional cycle parking will be provided at the entrance to the pedestrian zone and near St Nicholas Methodist Church to supplement the temporary cycle racks already installed by Devon County Council, to allow cycling visitors to use the shops more easily.

These plans are outlined on this map and described below. We would ask you to examine them and feedback any thoughts or concerns to us by noon on Tuesday 30 June.

Under the temporary plans being put forward:

  • Fore Street would become a pedestrian zone, with on-street parking suspended and vehicle access limited to deliveries and residents needing to get to their houses

  • A gateway feature would be created at the entrance to the new pedestrian zone by the Fire Station on Fore Street, with traffic calming measures

  • Exe Street and Victoria Road would become one-way into Fore Street

  • Additional cycle parking would be provided near the fire station and St Nicholas Methodist Church, to give cyclists easy access to shops

  • New signage for drivers and pedestrians.



When this content has been updated

Last updated 21 August 2020