ASDA: we need better transport interchange

PUBLISHED: 16:16 18 October 2008 | UPDATED: 09:49 10 June 2010

In the ASDA drawings (published in the Journal last week) I see no plans for an improved transport interchange, although this was on the original 'wish list'. This is the best opportunity in a generation to give Exmouth such a boon. Rail traffic on the

In the ASDA drawings (published in the Journal last week) I see no plans for an improved transport interchange, although this was on the original 'wish list'. This is the best opportunity in a generation to give Exmouth such a boon. Rail traffic on the Exmouth line (the busiest in Devon) has been growing at 10 per cent or more every year over the past decade, and has already passed one million paying passsengers annually - even without the extra traffic one presumes any retail proposal would hope to generate. Any new scheme for the station area, which would rely heavily on the space made available by removal of the present bus depot, must provide easy train/bus and train/taxi interchange as well as improved car parking for the increasing numbers of 'park and ride' rail users. Inter-urban bus services elsewhere in Devon have received substantial assistance from Devon County Council to provide rail connections; the new cycle track would benefit from 'on-site' hire facilities. Here is a chance to support such 'intermodal' public services.Conversely, the present proposals seem to make things even worse than they are now by separating the loading points for various travel modes rather than making transfer easier. This is explored in a paper prepared by the Avocet Line Rail Users' Group which deserves careful study. A short trip to the other end of the 'Tarka line', to Barnstaple, shows what can be achieved. Exmouth seems to be moving against the national trend for transport integration by disconnecting the few and unattractive facilities it already has. Will its citizens regret this in five years' time?Richard Giles, Kilntop, Lympstone.

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