Work has begun on a new traffic scheme which has divided Newton Abbot.

Engineers moved in on Tuesday to begin work in Queen Street, Newton Abbot where pavements are being widened and traffic flows changed, and protesters were there to greet them.

Engineers moved in on Tuesday to begin work in Queen Street, where pavements are being widened and traffic flows changed, and protesters were there to greet them.
Supporters say the government-funded project will bring business into the town by creating a less polluted and safer environment. But opponents say it will be a death knell, and a legal move has been launched to stop the work.
Queen Street is part of a town-wide project paid for with £9 million from the government’s Future High Streets fund.
The current plan – agreed last summer – is to widen footways, improve crossings, add more seating and create extra provision for buses and bikes.
Traffic orders have been signed to enable the scheme to go ahead, with changes including a 20mph speed limit, new waiting, parking and loading restrictions and closing several roads to anything other than through-traffic.
But the official start of work prompted a demonstration from the Queen Street Traders and Residents Association, which has called in the same solicitors who successfully fought the county council over a traffic scheme in Totnes.
Midlands-based Lodders forced a U-turn over reversing traffic flows there from the council, which had to pay more than £200,000 in legal fees as a result.
QStar said it had hoped that letters from the town council and the Federation of Small Business calling for the Queen Street changes to be halted for more talks with traders and residents would succeed.
But they say their pleas were ignored, leaving them with no option but to instruct solicitors.
Lodders says there were flaws in the way the council carried out its consultations. The Federation of Small Businesses wants the work stopped and the new traffic orders reversed.
James Timpson, chief executive of the shoe repair, key cutting and dry cleaning stores which bear his name, said Newton Abbot’s three Timpsons outlets may consider quitting the town centre as a result of delivery and parking issues created by the revamp.
“It will have an impact on the viability of our branches,” he said.
Cllr David Palethorpe (Lib Dem, Ipplepen) told Teignbridge overview and scrutiny committee it is important to allow contractors to proceed.
He said: “If people do go to Queen Street they should respect the people who are only doing the jobs they have been asked to do.
“This is a really exciting prospect, and I hope people will continue to support the businesses in Queen Street as we go forward.”
Contractors will work from 8am to 5pm Mondays to Fridays.
 

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