Call to sign petition amid review into Sidford’s ‘lethal’ junction

PUBLISHED: 19:32 29 March 2016

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Highways bosses set to assess crossing facilities but campaigner says community pressure will help

A campaigner calling for safer pedestrian measures at Sidford’s ‘lethal’ junction has welcomed a move by authorities to improve the situation.

Peter Morling gained the support of the community when he spoke out about the four-way intersection in February, branding it a ‘fatal accident waiting to happen’ and demanding action.

Following a report in the Herald, Devon County Council (DCC) highways bosses have initiated an assessment of the site amid concerns the situation will only worsen with the planned business park development in the area.

Proposals put forward would see an all-red phase added to the light sequence, with some form of pedestrian crossing through the middle of the intersection.

Mr Morling said he is pleased the authority has taken note of the ‘unacceptable safety risks’ pedestrians face every day – but he is calling for the community to support his petition to emphasise the urgency of the matter.

The Sidford Cross resident said: “I’m happy with the proposals, but what I’m concerned about is that it could be delayed.

“If there is a petition with a significant number of people calling for this then, I think, it adds some pressure to commit to this facility.”

DCC highways boss, Councillor Stuart Hughes said: “Facilities for pedestrians at Sidford Cross are less than ideal and that is unlikely to be helped once further development takes place at the proposed business park.

“We will be able to assess the transport assessment of the business park planning application in detail once it has been submitted to see what the impact of the development will be on this junction.

“From the initial site meeting we’ve had, it appears that the only sensible solution would be for an all-red phase of lights, with some form of pedestrian crossing across the middle of the junction – but design work would be needed on all of the possible options, because it would clearly impact on how the junction operates.”

Allowing time for survey and design work to be carried out, the earliest any proposal could be considered would be at the council’s autumn meeting.

Cllr Hughes admitted the council has a limited budget but expressed hope developer contributions could be negotiated, or external funding sought.

With a long timeline awaiting improvements at the crossing, Mr Morling is urging residents to get behind his campaign in the hope it will ensure action is taken sooner rather than later.

To sign the petition, visit: www.change.org/p/sidmouth-town-council-east-devon-district-council-and-devon-county-council-install-light-controlled-pedestrian-crossing-facilities-at-the-sidford-cross-junction

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