Concerns for safety of school children as lorries struggle to negotiate turn on Sidmouth road

A large lorry became trapped trying to turn on Alexandria Road prompting fresh concerns from parents

A large lorry became trapped trying to turn on Alexandria Road prompting fresh concerns from parents and councillors. Picture: Sarah Hall - Credit: Sarah Hall

Fresh calls have been made to stop large lorries using Alexandria Road, with concerns raised about the safety of schoolchildren.

Parents said there were two incidents last Thursday morning (January 24) along the road when vehicles became ‘stuck’ trying to turn into the industrial estate, with youngsters having to be moved out of the way.

Councillor Louise Cole has called on Devon County Council (DCC) to work with residents to find a solution to the ongoing problem which leaves damage to properties and vehicles along the road.

The town councillor said residents have called for options such as rerouting large vehicles, changing residents parking or considering a different road layout.

Cllr Cole said: “It is imperative that action is taken to stop this practice and to problem solve with DCC and East Devon District Council to find a solution to this inadequate infrastructure that is putting children’s safety at risk.”

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She said the Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan steering group called for a traffic review to improve roads in the town.

Cllr Cole said: “Approaches that mitigate the problems that we face now is needed but must be joined up, and I am concerned that we are not putting children’s safety first.

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“It would be hard enough for a driver to see an adult from their cab high up when trying to reverse out of being stuck, let alone a child.”

In the East Devon Local Plan 0.5hectares is provided for employment use at the Alexandria Industrial Estate.

County councillor Stuart Hughes, cabinet member for highways, said if any planning application came forward to develop the site, DCC would recommend that the developer to either provide, or contribute towards, a new access into the estate from the B3176.

He added in this instance, the HGV’s involved had taken the correct route.

Cllr Hughes said: “In principle I support legislation which would enable us to introduce weight limits on the minor road network. But this would be very difficult to enforce as restrictions would need to include an exception for access to make deliveries for example. And how do you police it? New laws have to be enforced, and that costs money councils simply don’t have.”

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