Cllr Andrea Davis is calling for residents and businesses across North Devon to take part in a critical public consultation on transport in the South West which will determine the strategic transport priorities for the region.
Conservative County Councillor for Combe Martin Rural, District Councillor for Heanton Punchardon and Devon County Cabinet member for Transport, Cllr Davis wants to see North Devon's voice heard loud and clear in the consultation lead by Peninsular Transport, a shadow sub-national transport body (STB), bringing together the five lead transport authorities in the Peninsula (Cornwall, Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay) which works directly with the Department for Transport (DfT) on regional transport strategy.
The first priority for Peninsula Transport is the development of a regional transport strategy, which plans and prioritises strategic infrastructure across the peninsula over the next thirty years. As part of this work, Peninsula Transport has produced a high-level vision document setting out the goals that will ultimately define the overall direction and principles of the full regional transport strategy.
The high level vision will be consulted on throughout the summer into September to ensure that the vision is shared with those across the peninsula and determine if the goals meet the needs of those using the network.
The vision is underpinned by the following five goals:
- We will improve connections between people, businesses, and places
- We will enhance resilience of the transport network
- We will deliver affordable, zero-emissions transport for everyone
- We will help to improve the health and wellbeing of communities in the peninsula
- We will help the peninsula to be a great place to live and work
In her call for public engagement with the consultation, Andrea said:
The development of this strategy is vital for the future of our transport networks across North Devon, the wider county and the entire region. It will determine what the priorities for connecting North Devon with the rest of the country are over the next 30 years and so it is vital North Devon's voice is well represented in the consultation.
Often in these consultations big cities like Exeter and Plymouth are the loudest voices, with towns like Ilfracombe and rural areas like Exmoor overshadowed and overlooked on key transport decisions. That's why I am calling for North Devon residents, particularly in our rural areas, to take part in this important consultation to make sure the transport needs in towns like Lynton & Lynmouth and villages like West Down and Wrafton are well represented.
In my role as Cabinet Member for Transport I am very pleased with the infrastructure investment we are seeing in North Devon, with work on the Link Road already underway, new bus services connecting Ilfracombe with Lynton & Lynmouth and Minehead and funding for road safety measures at Lynton Cross between Ilfracombe and Bittadon. However, to ensure we continue to see this kind of funding, improve connectivity for our rural communities and play our part in Devon acheiving net-zero by 2030 we need to hear from the public here in North Devon to know what their priorities are.
All the information on the consultation and how to take part can be found at www.peninsulatransport.org.uk.
The consultation closes the week ending the 17th September 2021 and once closed , Peninsula Transport will use the feedback to inform the full strategy. A number of supporting studies are either underway or planned to support the transport strategy and their website will be updated as the programme progresses. The strategy is expected to be published in 2022, setting out proposals for the delivery a transport system that works best for people, businesses and the planet.
If you are a resident in Combe Martin Rural or Heanton Punchardon and want to contact Cllr Davis on this issue or any other, her email is email@example.com.