50% Drop In Takings For South Hams Town

Shops in the South Hams market town of Totnes claim a 50% drop in takings since the introduction of a new one way system.  

The experimental road layout has reversed the traffic meaning that from the Rotherfold to Civic Court and from Station Road to the Plains cars and lorries can travel down the hill. 

Within hours of it being introduced it had brough chaos with confused drivers, angry shoppers and dismayed traders. 

It's claimed what should have been a bustling town centre, was empty as Road Ahead Closed signs - which were later changed - put off shoppers. 

This photo was sent to Heart were taken at 10:05am on Saturday morning showing an empty Fore Street: 

New road system leads to empty street

The scheme has been put in place to try and reduce the number of pedestrians hit by cars, the table below shows the reported casualty numbers: 

  • 2004 - 2006 12 
  • 2007 - 2008 2 
  • 2009 - 2011 7 

To see the background behind the scheme: GO HERE 





Esther Young from Fleurette the Florist: LISTEN HERE

Debbie Northway manager of Stokes Fruit & Veg: LISTEN HERE


What do you think of the changes let us know fill in the comments section below or email us: news.devon@heart.co.uk


Devon County Council Statement: "Wales & West Utilities has introduced traffic management changes to maintain access within the town while a high pressure gas main is replaced on High Street. 

"Devon County Council is liaising with the contractors and will be monitoring the situation throughout the work." 

Wales & West Utilities Statement:  

We are working on an essential mains replacement scheme in High Street, Totnes, which will help ensure the safe and secure supply of gas to homes and businesses in the area for years to come. 

The work began on 3 January and is expected to be completed by 31 March 2013. 

We have been working alongside Devon County Council and our traffic management consultants, South West Highways, to devise a suitable traffic management plan which has been fully agreed by the Council. 

Because of the road closure of High Street and for the safety of road users, pedestrians and the workforce, the one way systems along both Station Road and Fore Street are being reversed in conjunction with the signposted diversion route in operation. 

Whilst the closure is in force there will be no access for traffic in High Street, although deliveries will be accommodated, using banksmen on site. 

In preparation for the scheme we have had considerable discussions with the Town Council, Chamber of Commerce and all major parties. 

Meetings and drop-in sessions were also held last year to ensure that feedback was gathered before final plans were made. 

We will continue to keep traders and other parties fully informed of the plans and regret any inconvenience that this vitally important scheme may cause. 

We will continue to do all we can to minimise inconvenience and complete the work as quickly as possible. 

The work forms part of our multi-million pound 30-year replacement programme across the south west of England and Wales, where we are replacing old metal pipes within 30 metres of buildings with highly durable, non-corroding plastic pipes with a lifespan of more than 80 years.

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