Prince Charles road closure 'has doubled traffic'
RESIDENTS are angry about a road closure which they say has caused traffic where they live to double.
A section of Prince Charles Road in Exeter was closed to traffic during the construction of the new roundabout at Morrisons food store. But many Beacon Lane residents fear it could become a permanent closure as a swathe of grass and bollards are now in position across it.
However, highways officials and the county councillor for the area have told the Echo the closure is temporary. It is due to be discussed at the next meeting of the Exeter and Devon joint Highways Committee (Hatoc) on November 8.
Beacon Lane resident Martin Greenslade said: "As far as we are aware this is an illegal closure of the road.
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"There was a notice of a temporary closure in the Echo in March this year, but because it was temporary while they were doing the work on the new roundabout we didn't think anything about it.
"To close off an arterial road seems bonkers."
The residents say traffic in Beacon Lane has doubled.
Mr Greenslade said: "There is more congestion. At peak times people are not happy at being stuck in traffic and there have been instances of abuse. Some residents say they have seen cars driving up the pavement to get past.
"Another problem is residents cannot get out of their drives."
Saxon Spence, county councillor for Pinhoe and Mincinglake, said: "This may look permanent but it isn't – and the grass and bollards will be taken up if the order is not made permanent.
"It is a difficult one as the Beacon Lane residents don't want it to be permanent, but the residents in St Katherine's Road do as they used to get lots of trucks going along what is a small residential street.
"It has totally divided the community and I think it will ultimately be decided on safety issues."
A spokeswoman for Devon County Council said: "The temporary traffic order to prohibit vehicles using Prince Charles Road west of the junction of St Katherine's Road has not been made permanent.
"It was put in place for a maximum of 18 months in April this year to allow the Morrisons development and associated highway improvements to be carried out safely.
"Although Morrisons' contractors have used materials of a permanent nature, we still legally regard the closure as a temporary feature.
"Members of the Exeter's Hatoc committee will decide whether to make the order permanent at their meeting in November following consultation with residents directly affected by the closure."
The spokeswoman added: "Should the decision be taken not to make the order permanent, the works will need to be removed immediately and returned to the original road layout, at the developer's expense."