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The inspector’s recommendations for the Tavistock-Torrington traffic trial offer a fair and balanced solution

07 June, 2018

Impression of the current road layout under trial

• THREE of Tom Foot’s four introductory facts on the Tavistock-Torrington public inquiry outcome report were misleading, (Taxis gain ground in row over cycle route, May 31).

One, the number of cyclists on the corridor has not “doubled”. A council claim that cycling had increased up to 52 per cent was withdrawn under cross-examination. The inspector concludes (8.5.4): “In the absence of reliable data it is only possible to conclude that cycle use of the [Tavistock-Torrington] corridor has not decreased.”

Two, along the corridor there has not been a “significant increase in pedestrian casualties”. The inspector says (8.16.1): “while pedestrian casualties along the corridor have reduced there has been an increase in cycling casualties which is unexplained but cannot be attributed to an increase in cycle use.”

Three, pollution has not “reduced” across the area. The inspector says (8.9.4) that in some streets “pollution levels are higher than expected” and that “it is difficult to quantify the level of improvement in air-quality on the corridor”. (8.9.3).

However, four, your report is right to say that “traffic jams… got worse”. The inspector says (8.6.18): “since the implementation of the trial there has been an increase in congestion which has resulted in increased journey times and travel costs; this has had an adverse effect on the quality of life and commercial operations.”

Hence the recommend­ation to change the direction of vehicle traffic to help ambulances and other essential services just as much as taxis. We make these points in the interest of accuracy, and to avoid the debate sinking back into exaggeration and unfounded assertion.

The inspector has looked hard at the evidence and made recommendations which let cyclists keep their new tracks but which recognise the needs of the wider community as well.

The inspector’s recommendations offer a fair and balanced solution, which Bloomsbury Residents’ Action Group supports and which the council should now act on.

NICKY COATES
DIANA SCARROTT
Bloomsbury Residents’ Action Group

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