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Newton Abbot Town Council calls for Queen Street plans to be abandoned

Newton Abbot Town Council

NEWTON Abbot Town Council is to make ‘very strong representations’ that formally call for plans to restrict parking and traffic access in Queen Street to be abandoned.

The proposals by Teignbridge District Council and Devon County Council would remove much of the on-street parking in Queen Street and prevent most vehicles from travelling further than the junction with Albany Street.

Wider pavements would be installed and other traffic restrictions imposed in nearby streets.

Although the Town Council has already objected to most of the Traffic Regulation Orders that would introduce the changes, on Wednesday February 27 it staged an Extraordinary Meeting attended by 15 members.

Two motions were put by Cllrs Mike Ryan and Alex Hall which stated: ‘(A) That Newton Abbot Town Council do debate the proposals by Devon County Council and Teignbridge District Council for ‘enhancements’ to Queen Street, Newton Abbot, in relation to concerns raised by the businesses situated in the area, the loss of car parking and in particular disabled parking, and (B) That Newton Abbot Town Council should consider making very strong representations to the County and District Councils for the scheme to be abandoned in the light of the many concerns expressed by businesses and users of Queen Street.’

Opening the debate Cllr Mike Ryan said: ‘As a council we have been misled from the start. We were never asked beforehand what we would want to do in Queen Street.’

He later added: ‘It’s our town not yours.’

Another opponent, Cllr Janet Bradford, questioned the abilities of Teignbridge District Council saying: ‘Look at Market Walk, destroyed by mismanagement and interference.’

Taking a different position was Cllr Colin Parker who claimed the scheme was in line with long standing aspirations to improve the town.

He siad the Queen Street proposals were ‘the most widely consulted’ Devon County Council had ever undertaken and told the meeting: ‘Public realm improvements would enhance this area, it will be a real asset for the town.’ He added: ‘It would encourage visitors to linger longer’

Cllr Phil Bullivant took a similar stance saying it was in the ‘medium to long term interests’ of the town to bring about the changes.

‘This process is fundamentally about how we drive footfall into the town,’ he said.

Having heard the arguments for and against, members voted 9 – 4 with two abstentions in support of the motions meaning the Town Council will now officially call for the Queen Street plans to be abandoned.

After the meeting Mayor Cllr David Corney-Walker, who chaired the debate, said: ‘Members have had their say and the Clerk will draft a letter expressing their wishes.

‘It is up to Teignbridge and Devon whether or not to act on what has been said.’