Death fear over ‘rat-run’ Sidbury lane

A CONCERNED resident in a narrow Sidford street fears a fatality there after utility works ‘turned it into a rat-run’ plagued either by gridlock or speeding motorists.

Retired teacher Crosby Chacksfield, 66, of Frys Lane, says the current closure of School Street by Wales and West has seen the stretch overrun by drivers looking to avoid the restrictions.

“The current traffic load must have increased by 60 to 70 per cent,” said Crosby yesterday.

“I fear someone will get knocked down, injured or killed.

“I have lived here for 30 years and never seen anything like these problems.”

Crosby said the road, predominantly of single car width, is normally used by Higher and Lower Brook Meadow estate residents to access to either the A375 or A3052 – normally not a problem.

“At present, so many cars are speeding along Frys Lane in both directions, there is congestion and serious danger to those with children and pets who walk along the lane,” he added.

Most Read

“I have to wait an age before I can get out at certain times of day. I have the impression that many of the vehicles are doing far more than 30 miles per hour.

“My neighbour has to park his car across the entrance of his driveway to prevent vehicles from using it as a passing place. I would say 80 per cent of the drivers are inconsiderate, bad tempered and driving dangerously at speed.

“The occasional motorist, in the 20 per cent group, has the common sense to slow down and be courteous.”

Crosby said the traffic increase led to gridlock in the lane in both morning and evening rush hours.

He added that pipes under Frys Lane have been damaged by heavy vehicles using the lane in the past and had to be repaired.

“I hope someone will listen and come up with a plan to route traffic so that children, pets, and the rest of us have safe passage,” said Crosby.

Sidmouth councillor Stuart Hughes, the county’s highways chief, said he was concerned gridlock could hamper emergency services and vowed to try and find a solution with Wales and West bosses that would alleviate problems.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter