A 40mph limit isn’t slow enough at the Bowd, argue residents

CONCERNED residents have called for speed bumps or a roundabout to be introduced at the Bowd – despite claims by Devon’s highways chief that accidents there are caused by “driver error”.

Councillor Stuart Hughes has asked for an existing 40mph zone to be extended along Sidmouth Road beyond a proposed new recycling centre near the spot.

At present the zone begins at the Bowd junction with the A3052 and extends 100 metres along Fire Beacon Lane before reverting to 60mph.

Joan Lister, of Bowd Court, led a petition last year calling for the whole Bowd junction, and roads leading into it, to be designated a 30mph zone.

She says traffic still “thunders” down to the junction and “screeches” to a halt at the last minute. Of the 40mph proposal, she said: “It’s not enough. It ought to be 30mph. It’s terrifying pulling out into that road and it needs to be much less. I fear for the kiddies on horses who cross it.”

She called for speed bumps or a roundabout to be introduced “before someone is killed”.

Others welcomed the news of the 40mph extension, including the managers of Sidmouth Riding at Saltwynds Farm off Fire Beacon Lane.

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Cllr Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transportation, said: “Residents have been coming to me with their concerns and we have incorporated them into our new plans for the recycling centre. I think it [the 40mph zone] will make a significant difference.”

He rejected the idea of 30mph zone on the grounds that it is not a built-up area. Speed bumps are also ruled out as they would require street lighting. And at a projected cost of around �2million, a roundabout is currently deemed too expensive.

There are no statistics to show that the Bowd is a high-danger junction and the accidents which were reported in autumn last year were due to “driver error”, he added.