The controversial 'Exmouth Gateway' proposals look set to be withdrawn.

Next week Devon county councillors will be recommended not to proceed with the measures, which would have included closing the subway near the railway station and introducing new pedestrian crossings.

The planned extension to Dinan Way is not expected to be affected by the move, although both schemes are part of the Destination Exmouth Levelling Up fund improvements.

The council said the proposal not to go ahead with the Exmouth Gateway follows two rounds of public consultation, during which most people objected to the closure of the subway.

This closure would have made it possible to widen the shared pedestrian and cycle path and change the zebra crossing to one with traffic signals.

Other proposed measures included a new zebra crossing outside The Strand Inn, a pedestrian crossing on The Royal Avenue, and the widening of the footpath to the leisure centre.

The scheme was designed to reduce the amount of traffic in the town centre and improve the experience for people arriving in Exmouth, but was widely criticised. 

Objectors said the closure of the subway would remove a safe crossing route for older and slower walkers, and the road crossings and traffic slowing measures would cause congestion and delays.

Critics also questioned why the Gateway project didn't include any proposals to smarten up the dilapidated bus station, toilets and car park next to the station exit.

Devon County Council said that, without the additional space provided by the infilling and closure of the subway and its ramps, it will not be possible to deliver the other active travel improvements,  and this has led to the recommendation to remove the Exmouth Gateway proposals from the Destination Exmouth scheme.

The council had successfully submitted a bid to the Government’s Levelling Up Fund for £15.765 million for its Destination Exmouth improvements. Devon County Council, East Devon District Council and Exmouth Town Council had agreed to contribute £1.752 million to the scheme.

Devon County Council is now working closely with the Department for Transport (DfT) to understand the financial implications of not progressing the Gateway scheme, and to confirm that the Dinan Way extension, providing a link to the A376 and moving traffic away from residential roads in the area, will not be affected.

Devon County Council’s Cabinet will discuss the recommendation not to proceed with Gateway next week (Wednesday 8 May).