'Essential' West Hill pavement bid shelved

AN ESSENTIAL bid to boost pedestrian safety in West Hill has been shelved due to a land wrangle.

AN "ESSENTIAL" bid to boost pedestrian safety in West Hill has been shelved due to a land wrangle.

Plans for a "missing link" pavement on the north side of West Hill Road were put on hold by highways and traffic chiefs on Monday, as Devon County Council has been told the privately owned land is not for sale.

The East Devon Highways and Traffic Orders Committee agreed the scheme should be pursued only when the land moves into different ownership.

DCC officers drew up a scheme for the section of pavement and earmarked �25,000 for it in 2007.

Ottery county councillor Roger Giles has championed the bid for years and fought for its progression on Monday.

He said: "Consideration was given to the possibility of a pavement on the south side of West Hill Road, and to a compulsory purchase of the land. Both these options were felt to be impractical. The original scheme was agreed to be the only practical solution."

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Highways experts had told committee members the project was "desirable but not essential." It was agreed the scheme should remain a priority, and, will be funded if an agreement is reached when the land becomes available.

Cllr Giles added: "In my view, and the view of the vast majority of West Hill people, the scheme is essential. It would represent a substantial safety improvement for pedestrians, especially for children on their way to and from West Hill Primary School.

"It would also reduce traffic as some people are afraid to walk to the shop, village hall, or the school because the road is dangerous. A pavement would mean that journeys currently made by motor vehicle would be made on foot. There would be a reduction in the congestion around the school at the beginning and end of the school day.

"I am determined to do all I can to bring this scheme to a successful conclusion, however long and however much effort it takes.