SIR - With regards to your article in the Sidmouth Herald (January 6, 2012) concerning the ‘rat run’ that is Fry’s Lane and Brook Lane in Sidford due to School Street being closed.
I took photos between 11.45am and noon on Saturday, January 7 from our top window at Brook Lane which is facing Fry’s Lane. There was total gridlock with no-one going anywhere!
Some motorists were doing their best to try and organise the traffic chaos but with traffic backed up Brook Lane to the main road and the other way up Fry’s Lane to the main A3052, it took nearly half an hour before the traffic was flowing again, albeit crawling slowly.
This was by no means ‘a one off’ as this has occurred every morning and evening since the School Street closure and if these works are scheduled to last another four weeks then a solution must be reached as soon as possible.
I also do not understand why the temporary traffic lights on the A3052 toward Sidford Cross are so near the turning into Fry’s Lane, which makes no sense and certainly doesn’t help the flow of traffic!
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I think the main concern with the congestion should be that if the emergency services were needed in the local vicinity they would stand no chance of getting through which could result in a matter of life or death.
I have phoned Devon County Council’s Highways Department three times but they say they are not responsible – so who is? Apparently the Wales & West Utilities carrying out the works are, but, obviously, have no local knowledge being based in Wales, as shown by the fact that they have created an insane 25 mile diversion from Honiton which locals will of course ignore.
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I think one solution would be to put an Access Only sign at the bottom of Fry’s Lane on the main road and co-ordinating traffic lights here and at the bottom of Brook Lane to control the flow of traffic.
I hope the Herald will again highlight this problem and assist us in obtaining a solution.