‘Congestion, swearing and hooters’ - Sidford traffic gripe grows

“Life or death” matter say residents

CONGESTION chaos in Sidford caused by roadworks in School Street saw a narrow lane this week left overloaded by cars ‘hand gestures and hooters’.

Residents near Frys Lane reiterated their concerns over a “life and death” situation as Wales and West Utilities continues its work in the village.

The county council’s highways chief said he was working on a solution on Monday.

Ann Harvey, of Brook Lane – which overlooks Frys Lane – observed “total gridlock” on Saturday afternoon. She said: “No-one was going anywhere.

“Some motorists were doing their best to try and organise the 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 it 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.

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“The main concern with the congestion is, if emergency services were needed, they would stand no chance of getting through which could result in a matter of life or death.”

Sidmouth town councillor, Jack Brokenshire, visited the scene on Monday and told colleagues when they met on Monday: “It is chaotic. It’s all swearing, hands (gestures) and hooters. “

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council (DCC) cabinet member for highways and transportation, said he was “on the case” .

He added: “This is local motorists using their knowledge of the roads – and not using the signed diversion route.

“The county council wouldn’t send people down Frys Lane. We are looking to see what we can do there.”

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