by jackiebrodie on 29 October, 2017
The following is an article that I submitted for the November edition of the Highweek Herald.
“Speeding traffic is another topic near the top of many people’s list of moans, which is interesting considering that apparently 80% of motorists admit to speeding on some occasions, and that’s just those that admit it. This makes it a difficult issue to address. Whilst drinking and using mobile phones whilst driving has largely become socially unacceptable, it still seems that many are willing to recount the speed at which they got from one place to another even though the time would be impossible without breaking speed limits. Nevertheless over a ¼ of the countries population now live in 20mph default speed limit zones, and there is huge demand for 20mph limits. The evidence for them is overwhelming, safer for all, better for people’s physical and mental health, encouraging more walking and cycling, reducing congestion, less noise and air pollution, I could go on. But Devon County Council have stuck their head in the sand and have been letting the rest of the country race ahead with successful implementation of 20mph. I am told they are waiting for a government report into 20mph. This report has been delayed and delayed, and may appear in Jan next year if any Government officers are left to do the work, after their mass transfer to Brexit duties. In reality there is no need to wait for this report, since the 2013 Government Circular advice was to urge local authorities to get on with implementation. 20mph limits are a very low cost one off expenditure to achieve a whole raft of safety, social and economic benefits.
I have met with the Head of Highways and Chair of the relevant Committee to push things forward a bit quicker. Thankfully they have agreed to review DCC’s Speed Limit Policy in its entirety next year. The policy on 30mph is also in desperate need of review, and needs to take account of new development layouts. Currently the policy does not allow for 30mph limits on roads which do not have many houses fronting them, not taking account of how many houses there are behind a hedge, how many junctions there are onto the road, or pedestrian crossing points. Clearly non-sensical in my opinion and resulting in my requests for the 30mph limit on Ashburton Rd to be pushed out nearer to Seale Hayne being refused, as not conforming to policy!!
It’s not all bad news however, after much campaigning there is now a temporary bus stop near the roundabout at Hele Park, Ashburton Road, for residents travelling into Newton Abbot to use.
By the end of November the Highweek Experimental Order will be in place, if all goes to plan. I am aware of divided opinion about the Order. There have been traffic counts undertaken by County in Coombeshead Rd and Highweek Village in October, and these will be repeated after implementation. Please also let me have your opinions of how it is operating. It is experimental and can be stopped at any point if it is not felt to be working or is having significant detrimental side effects.
In Bushell Ward it is great to finally see the double yellows painted in Rundle Rd. Extensions to these on the lower part of Rundle Rd are in the pipeline, plus short stretches requested by residents in Templer Rd and Hameldown Way.
As always please contact me on any matters of concern to you, which you think I can help with.
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