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Saturday Morning Road Closure Update in the Totnes Directory

To read the latest Totnes Directory please click here

Saturday Morning Road Closures 19 Sep until 10 Oct 

Devon County Council has approved Totnes Town Council's request to close upper Fore Street (from the access only section near the King William pub) through the High Street between 9am and 1pm on Saturdays for a further four weeks running from 19th September until 10th October. Vehicular access will still be permitted for Bob the Bus and the Royal Mail.

Full Statement from Devon County Council about Road Closure

I have been considering the following proposal put forward by Totnes Town Council to Devon County Council


Totnes Town Council RECOMMENDS to Devon County Council that the temporary closure of upper Fore Street (from the access only signage opposite the King William) and the High Street and the Narrows to traffic for 4 hours on Saturday mornings be continued whilst Government social distancing guidelines remain in place to enable social distancing, pedestrian safety and accessibility during the COVID pandemic.

There has been clarification received that this means a ban on vehicular access, with the exception of Bob the Bus, and the Royal Mail.

Having considered the objections and support comments that I have received regarding this proposal, I have decided that DCC will implement the temporary closure as requested, but ONLY for the following 4 weeks (19 and 26th September, and 3 and 10th October.
I believe these measures to be both proportionate and reasonable and have reached my decision taking into account the following.

The country is in both a health and economic crisis.

I have received communications from a significant number of disabled people or their carers/representatives, about the benefits to them of the closures in terms of being more easily able to socially distance when there is no traffic on the road. I have also received some objections from disabled people regarding the closure on the grounds that there is no vehicular access to premises and/or that Saturday is the only day of the week that a carer or helper is available to assist. I have therefore taken a view that although there are some objections this can be balanced by the fact that the closure is not for the full day on Saturday.

The Chamber of Commerce does not support this extension, as the majority of their Members have stated that they are finding the closures detrimental to their business I also have had correspondence from a number of businesses objecting to the closures, not just about the economic impact of the closures, but also the problems associated with having no vehicular access to their properties for deliveries. I have taken these objections into account in coming to the decision that the restriction is for only 4 hours a week, and have also not permitted an indefinite period of time.

I have seen a petition containing approximately 1200 signatures of which the majority support the request for a 6 day (Mon to Sat) 4 hour closure. I appreciate that is not what the Town Council has asked, however I need to acknowledge that there is strong support in the wider community for greater restrictions. However the request does not appear proportionate, when balanced with the economic crisis and the views of the Chamber of Commerce.

Although Devon rates have been comparatively low so far, and are below the England average, with 6.1 per 100,000 compared to the England rate of 20.1, we have seen a significant rise in the number of confirmed cases in September. This is an important point as the guidance from the Government clearly states that the legislation that under pins the closure can only be used where there is a likelihood of danger to the public. Hence why I have restricted the time period for 4 weeks.

With regards,
Meg Booth
Chief Officer Highways Infrastructure Development and Waste
Devon County Council


Statement from Cllr. Jacqi Hodgson, Mayor of Totnes, regarding current road closures in Totnes 

 Please see a statement made prior to 7th September by Cllr. Jacqi Hodgson, Mayor of Totnes, regarding the current Saturday morning road closures and proposed future road closures

 Mayor Statement regarding current road closures in Totnes


Devon County Council Back to School and School Transport Advice


Details are now being finalized for school and college transport for September. This embraces contracted transport for both mainstream pupils and those with special educational needs, and public transport.


This flyer has been produced with advice for families sending their children to school, including advice on social distancing and behaviour on vehicles. 


Making use of special Government funding, we have arranged for additional dedicated school buses to duplicate some public bus services where social distancing would otherwise make it impossible to accommodate everyone. Whilst social distancing continues to be in force on public buses, Government guidance does not require distancing on vehicles dedicated purely to school and college passengers. Additional coaches have also been arranged on rail routes. Details of all additional services appear on the Travel Devon website:


For short journeys, the Government are encouraging everyone to consider walking and cycling.


A press release has already been issued:


The relevant section of the DCC Covid-19 webpages has also been updated with information about school travel:  




Totnes Town Council have contacted Devon County Council Highways requesting permission to install planters through the Town Centre and improve signage to improve the adherence to the existing 'Access Only' rules from the bottom of Fore Street and to help users of the Town to adhere to the nationally agreed guidelines of 1m plus social distancing - something which is very challenging given the narrowness of the road and the volume of people visiting. With traffic counts indicating approximately 170 cars an hour, implementing access only in the town centre is an urgent consideration, for safety reasons.


Design a Face Mask Competition


Totnes Town Mayor, Cllr Jacqi Hodgson has this week launched a Design a Face Mask Competition for designers of all ages and interest to participate in.

The competition is open to two categories, those aged 16 and under and over 16 years old.  The single prize for the over 16 year old entries is £100 cash prize, the single prize for 16 years and under is £50 cash prize.  All entries must be sent in electronically with an email confirming which age category the entry is for, plus contact details etc.  Entries for those aged 12 years old and under must be accompanied by an email with parental approval for their child to enter.  The competition will run until September 21st and all entries must be in by midnight. The Terms and Conditions are as follows:

·         Any entries received after the closing date of midnight 21st September 2020 will not be eligible for the competition.

· All entries must be electronic, will not be returned and remain the property of Totnes Town Council.

· How old are you? If you are under 13 years you need to ask your parents or your legal guardian if they consent to you taking part in the competition and your personal details being held by the Council. Get them to include their details when you send in your mask entry.

· Totnes Town Council is not responsible for any entries not received.

· Winners will be announced at Totnes Town Council meeting on Monday 5th October at 7pm.

· Winners will be required to allow their name and photograph as provided for the competition to be used in publicity associated with announcing the winners.

· The decision of the judges is final.

· Staff and Members of Totnes Town Council and their immediate family cannot enter this competition.

· All personal information and data received as part of the competition will be managed under General Data Protection Regulation 2018. Our Privacy Notice provides more information about the different ways we may use your data and how it is stored. You can find our Privacy Notice on our website at


Totnes Mayor & four other Councillors

Representative of Totnes Caring

Representative of Totnes Masked Avengers



Totnes Christmas Festival Nights 2020


After meeting with the authorities with regard to Totnes Christmas 2020, we have been advised due to the popularity of the event, the size of the High Street and the layouts that Totnes Christmas 2020 will not be going ahead in its traditional format. Unfortunately, we must cancel this great event as must Bath, Lincoln, Newcastle, and many others.

Totnes Christmas 2020 will be going ahead but on a far smaller scale. We will be running the Artisan Christmas Market inside the Civic Hall and the Rotherfold Artisan Market, but mostly, we will be promoting and celebrating the existing shops and premises here in Totnes.

A limited road closure in the evening to allow people to browse the shops in peace and safety. Timings and dates to be confirmed.


Rogue Traders posing as Tree Surgeons

South Hams District Council has received reports of potential rogue traders operating in our area, specifically targeting vulnerable and elderly residents unable to carry out their own tree works.

Several members of the public and their families contacted South Hams Trees team recently, after they were cold-called by traders claiming to be tree surgeons. The traders offered to do garden and tree works for cash, and also advised residents they could legally carry out works to protected trees and provide a certificate to submit to the Council to avoid prosecution.

No such certificate exists - any works to a tree subject to a Tree Preservation Order or in a conservation area require permission beforehand from the Council.

For more information see SHDC press release. 


Saturday Morning Road Closure - Bob the Bus Service

 Bob the Bus has been granted special dispensation to provide a service during the Saturday morning road closure between 9am and 1pm. Further to the Town Council’s request, Bob the familiar yellow bus will be driving up through the town centre for people to flag down for a lift or to be dropped off and coming back down St Katherine’s Way to drop people off and pick up others at the different car parks.

Communication with Local Businesses

Following comments to the Town Council about consultation prior to the road closure on Saturday mornings for a limited time, if you would like your business to informed of any future planned changes or events please see this letter from Cllr Claire Allford about how to register your details or email   


   Tree Preservation Orders

Are you concerned about whether a tree in the town is protected in any way? Councils can use Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) to protect trees, groups or woodlands of significant public amenity value and where there is a likelihood of threat to the tree. For further information see the local information page here. 

 Ash Die Back Advice

You may have heard through various media outlets that our much revered native ash trees are currently at a high risk of infection from Ash Dieback disease which may affect their health and eventually the stability of the whole tree in some instances. For further information see the local information page here. 

Market Square Improvements - Designs and Comment Deadline

An exciting programme of improvements to uplift the appearance of Totnes Market Square has been agreed by South Hams District Council, in close partnership with Totnes Town Council. 

The enhancement programme designed by local architects Harrison Sutton Partnership, looks to deliver replacement bespoke steps with integrated planters and seating areas. The existing ramp will be widened and re-levelled and clad in oak sleepers with additional improvements to lighting. Mosaic art pieces produced by a local artist and school children will be included in the design, together with a new drinking water fountain.

The entire area will be resurfaced with the improvements being scheduled to avoid peak use in the summer season and during December when the Christmas Markets take place.

The timeline for the improvement projects will be phased over a 12 -18 month period starting in autumn 2019. The steps and ramp are to be completed in early 2020 with the surfacing to follow later in the year.

A tendering process will be undertaken early next year to appoint a contractor to carry out the works.

Cllr John Tucker, Leader of South Hams District Council, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to work in close partnership with Totnes Town Council to improve an important piece of public realm to the quality and standard it deserves. We are delighted help bring this scheme forward and know the improvements will further enhance the town. We will make sure that work will be carried out around key dates for the market area and developed with community use firmly in mind.”

Catherine Marlton, Totnes Town Council’s Town Clerk, said: “The Town Council undertook a Community Budgeting exercise in 2017 which showed just how important the public realm of Totnes is to residents, business owners and visitors. As a result the Town Council has entered into a partnership with SHDC to turn the original resurfacing of the Market Square into a larger scale upgrade of that area, which is high traffic for users and is also the location of the popular markets. I am hopeful that this project can bring real benefits and prove that Councillors are willing to respond and invest in priorities the community raise.”

The designs can be found here.


Totnes Town Maintenance Officer - Contact Details

The Town Maintenance Officer for Totnes can be contacted for any issues about the town, for example unsafe hand rails, graffiti or cleanliness, on 



Problem on the Roads? 

Don't forget you can report any of the road problems listed below on this DCC page:

Flooding & blocked drain
Street light
Hazardous or fallen trees
Overgrown vegetation
Trip hazard
Broken manhole cover
Public rights of way
Debris or obstruction
Defective road markings or signs
Retaining walls
Traffic lights
Fences & barriers
Lit signs & bollards








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