Community backs call for action at Sidford’s ‘lethal’ junction


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Highways boss assures campaigner improvements for pedestrian safety are being looked at

Worried parents and residents have backed a campaign calling for safer pedestrian measures at Sidford’s ‘lethal’ junction.

Members of the community spoke out in support of Peter Morling this week, after the Herald reported how he has branded the four-way intersection ‘a fatal accident waiting to happen’ and called on authorities to act.

The concerned Sidford Cross resident has now pledged to keep pursuing the matter in the wake of what he called Devon County Council’s (DCC) ‘dismissive and unacceptable attitude to the consideration for safety of pedestrians’.

However, highways boss Councillor Stuart Hughes gave assurances that teams are already looking at what improvements for pedestrian safety should be carried out.

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Other people in the village have also spoken of their fears for the safety of children and elderly people at the junction – which has limited or no pavements and no pedestrian crossing provision on three of the four roads.

Robert Peckham said: “I want to support Peter Morling in demanding a pedestrian crossing at Sidford Cross. Many times I’ve had to leap out of the way for speeding cars as they plough around the corner and I am scared for my children to walk to school. In fact, I will refuse them permission to walk unless that bit of road is made safe for pedestrians.”

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Didi Norman, of Lower Brook Meadow, agreed the crossing is ‘lethal’ and said she struggles to cross it safely with a pushchair.

Drakes Avenue resident Fiona Sparrow said: “I use the junction every morning to go to work and it’s a nightmare. The biggest problem I find is that people will drive through it on the red light. I see the lights change and people still come through. I’m amazed there has not been an accident – there should be a safer pedestrian crossing. The problem is, as a pedestrian, you cannot see when it is safe to cross and there is a lot of unpredictability. Even as a driver I do not like it.”

Sergeant Andy Squires, of Sidmouth’s neighbourhood policing team, said: “Any measures that the highways [authority] are able to install to promote pedestrian safety have got to be a good thing.”

Cllr Hughes said: “I have said that, as local member and cabinet member responsible for highways, this will be looked at - and it will be. We are already looking at what improvements for pedestrian safety should be carried out as part of the business park development and I shall be ensuring that the improvements required are carried out.”

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