Devon’s highways boss calls for ‘obstructive’ BT box to be removed from Sidmouth junction

BT Openreach Broadband box at Manstone Mead junction poses hazard say concerned road users

BT Openreach Broadband box at Manstone Mead junction poses hazard say concerned road users - Credit: Archant

The company says it ‘has no plans to move’ the cabinet but will discuss matter with councillors

Devon’s highways boss has called for an ‘obstructive’ BT box to be removed – a week after the company claimed it has complied with the authority’s regulations.

The recently-installed cabinet at a Manstone Mead junction has been branded an ‘accident waiting to happen’ by concerned residents, who say its position impairs visibility and poses a danger to road users

Highways boss Councillor Stuart Hughes this week claimed that Devon County Council (DCC) was not consulted on the location and agreed that the broadband box does ‘significantly’ obstruct the view at the junction leading onto Sidford Road.

BT had said that it ‘has no plans to move’ the cabinet and this week told the Herald that it remains of the view that the location is ‘satisfactory’, but is happy to discuss the matter with councillors.

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A spokesman for the company added that it received approval for the position of the cabinet from the authority before and after installation took place.

Cllr Hughes said: “DCC is arranging a site inspection with BT and I’m hoping that, as a result of this, the box will be removed.

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“I agree with those who have contacted me and consider the new BT green cabinet significantly obstructs the northward visibility when approaching the Manstone Mead/Sidford Road junction. The box could easily have been installed in a less-intrusive position.

“It is poorly located in terms of aesthetics and the street scene. The area of grass has recently been planted with daffodil bulbs to enhance the green space and the appeal of Sidmouth in the spring.

“It also adds to the problem of BT service vans parking on double yellow lines at the junction. The parked vans impact on both pedestrian and vehicular safety at the junction and nearby pedestrian crossing which is used by a large number of school children.”

He added that the location does not comply with BT’s own code of practice which states cabinets should not be sited in a prominent position at a junction or on a bend of the public maintainable highway.

Cllr Marianne Rixson raised the issue last week and told the Herald she has received numerous complaints about the ‘dangerous and obstructive’ broadband box.

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