The Exeter Transport Strategy 2020-2030 focuses on improving travel choices, creating better places for people and taking advantage of technology opportunities to influence travel behaviour in a positive way.

The proposals aim to provide an ambitious, but realistic, transport strategy that is embodied in the following 3 key themes: 


Exeter Transport Strategy

6.1. The Exeter Transport Strategy will focus on improving travel choices, the quality of life for residents and provides the first stages in the transition of transport towards net zero.

6.2. The core elements of the strategy will be to improve sustainable transport networks, providing the basis of a connected City Region. It will deliver interventions that contribute to improved quality of life and take advantage of technological advancements to better integrate information and help decarbonise travel.

6.3. The proposals aim to provide an ambitious, but ultimately realistic, transport strategy that is embodied in the following 3 key themes:

6.4. The transport strategy will facilitate decarbonisation of transport in the Greater Exeter city region by providing a sustainable and reliable transport system, allowing people and goods to move around the network efficiently. This will support sustainable growth and provide a better quality of life for residents.

6.5. Central to this will be creating a comprehensive, accessible and coherent cycle and pedestrian network in Exeter that connects residential areas with schools, key economic hubs, public open space and transport interchanges so that 50% of trips within the city are being made on foot or by bike.

6.6. This represents the most achievable way of reducing short distance car trips from within Exeter. It also complements aims to tackle inactivity across the city through the Sport England Local Delivery Pilot and Exeter’s aspiration to become the most active city in the country.

6.7. The rate of delivery will be accelerated through testing and trialling changes, including making some of the Emergency Active Travel “pop-up” infrastructure changes permanent. We will also progress opportunities to remove or reduce traffic on some routes to create “green lanes” and support active travel access from villages on the edge of the city.

6.8. This will be complemented by new, high-quality strategic cycle links creating a city region strategic leisure network to encourage short to medium distance trips from existing settlements into Exeter and the Exe Estuary Trail.

6.9. We will support enhancing bus frequency on key interurban routes, with an aim of achieving 15 minute bus frequency or better on key inter-urban routes into the city from Cranbrook, Crediton, Cullompton and Newton Abbot. This level of frequency provides a ‘turn-up-and-go’ service where users will no longer feel the need to consult a timetable.

6.10. This will be supported by enhanced bus corridors and improvements at key junctions. Particular focus will be given to enhancing Heavitree Road to achieve more reliable journey times on a key, busy public transport route to growth in the East of Exeter and achieving an improved environment for residents, pedestrians and cyclists. Enhancements to Heavitree Road will also reduce pollution, improve air quality and form part of the target to remove all air quality exceedances in the city.

6.11. The County Council will explore options to deliver the cleanest bus fleet with onboard WiFi allowing more productive travel and reduced transport costs with a greater influence on the routes being run.

6.12. Alongside this will be continued improvement of ‘Devon Metro’ rail services improving the connectivity within the city region so that the towns of Cranbrook, Crediton, Dawlish, Dawlish Warren, Exmouth, Honiton, Newton Abbot and Teignmouth are served by at least half hourly rail frequency. New rail connectivity to Mid Devon will also be investigated.

6.13. In combination, the enhanced rail, bus and active travel links between key settlements and Exeter form the basis of a Connected City Region network.

Consistent Standard of Sustainable Transport providing a Connected City Region

Photo: by shirokazan 


6.14. Park & Ride sites on all key corridors will provide a realistic sustainable travel option for those trips from rural areas into the city that can’t feasibly be served by traditional public transport services. The sites also serve as multimodal interchanges for other sustainable forms of travel, such as cycling, and will provide electric vehicle charging facilities.

6.15. The potential of Park & Ride to also provide frequent cross city connections as well as from the city centre out to employment and amenities at Marsh Barton and Sowton / East of Exeter will also be promoted.

6.16. The strategy will protect and enhance strategic rail, road and air connectivity into the city and South West Peninsula so that it retains momentum and continues to offer an attractive place for sustainable growth.

6.17. In addition to hard infrastructure, new transport innovations and interventions will be encouraged.

6.18. We will work with and support the private sector to develop innovative solutions in the city and in securing external funding for new initiatives. We will also share data with partners to improve collaboration and support innovation.

6.19. To facilitate an accelerated change in transport conditions in the city, we will also be more dynamic in testing and trialling of new measures and highway changes.

6.20. The network will benefit from smarter operation and management. Such initiatives could include innovative car parking strategies in the city centre, which encourages longer stays in the evening and off-peak, whilst discouraging car travel at peak times.

6.21. Central to the Exeter Transport Strategy and reducing carbon emissions is increasing electric shared mobility. We are currently expanding our electric bike hire to provide the largest on-street electric bike scheme in the UK and will continue to expand and electrify the already well utilised car club fleet.

6.22. Alongside a growing shared mobility offer, Exeter has an extensive bus network which together provide core elements to build upon to create a single ticketing platform that is right for the attributes of Exeter. Furthermore, the emergence of electric bus funding opportunities, along with electric car club vehicles and bike hire unlock the potential for the delivery of the UK’s first zero-emission transport subscription service. This would be a crucial step on the path towards net zero.


Greater Connectivity – Enhanced Travel Choices

1. Connected City Region

Aim: Increase the attractiveness of public transport through improved passenger facilities and better journey time frequency and reliability.

2. Nationally Connected

Aim: Retain and enhance strategic rail, road and air connectivity with the rest of the country and overseas.


3. Park & Ride on all main corridors

Aim: Provide Park & Ride on all key corridors and double the number of spaces that serve the city alongside reducing parking provision in city centre.

Greater Places for People - Healthier Active City

4. Active Exeter

Aim: 50% of work trips originating in Exeter to be made on foot or by cycle.

5. People Based Places

Aim: Shift to more people-focused design interventions to improve the health and wellbeing of citizens and support the vitality of the city centre.

6. Attractive Urban Bus Networks

Aim: Work with operators to achieve a modern, reliable and low carbon network of bus routes.

Greater Innovation – Manage Travel Intelligently

7. Seamless Multimodal Travel

Aim: Introduce a new single ticketing platform and shared mobility to boost the convenience of non-car travel into and around the city.

8. Maximise the Efficiency of Existing Network

Aim: To use technological advancements to better understand the operation of the network and adapt its control to best manage movement effectively.

9. Innovation and Invention

Aim: To test changes using local and global expertise to develop and launch new transport innovations that support decarbonisation.

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