‘Lives are in danger’ on Sidford’s rat-run route

Ann Lilley raised concerns about 'rat-run' road in Sidford

Ann Lilley raised concerns about 'rat-run' road in Sidford - Credit: Archant

Community calls for action on ‘increasingly dangerous’ road

Photo showing some of the problems caused by heavy traffic between Fry's Lane and Brook Lane, Sidfor

Photo showing some of the problems caused by heavy traffic between Fry's Lane and Brook Lane, Sidford - Credit: Archant

Lives are being put at risk by speeding drivers ‘hurtling’ down a narrow Sidford ‘rat-run’ – say residents, who are calling for action.

The community has spoken out about an ‘increasingly dangerous’ route along Fry’s Lane and Brook Lane, amid fears for the safety of pedestrians, children and wheelchair users who have to walk on a stretch of road with no pavements.

Householders say the lanes are regularly being used as a short-cut by motorists who want to avoid a wait at the Sidford Cross traffic lights. They are calling for a review and better safety measures ‘before someone is seriously hurt’.

Devon’s highways boss has responded to concerns and promised a speed survey will be carried and options considered.

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Ann Lilley, of Fry’s Lane, said she felt compelled to speak out after witnessing a ‘near miss’ in which she said a young boy had to leap out of the way of an oncoming van. She said: “I see the danger there quite a lot. One guy has to take his wheelchair along Brook Lane and negotiate a narrow part of the road. We are a nice community here, but it’s sad that there is this issue and it is a big issue that is only going to get bigger.”

Ann suggested signs reminding drivers that the route is a 20mph zone could help.

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Fry’s Lane resident Gwen Papai said: “Unfortunately, Fry’s Lane has been used increasingly as a rat-run to avoid the traffic lights. As a pedestrian, I find it very difficult to walk up Brook Lane because of the lack of visibility.”

A Blue Haze resident said: “Already when walking along Fry’s Lane, the traffic is hazardous - cars come hurtling down the road at high speeds, putting lives in danger.”

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council’s highways boss, said: “This issue has been ongoing for some time. I’ve been looking into it and will be arranging for a speed survey to be carried out. It falls within the 20mph zone, but it’s not feasible to place repeater signs in the area.

“One consideration may be to make it a no-through road from Higher Brook Meadow, which has been looked at before, but wasn’t supported locally. With the increase in vehicles using it as a rat-run, this could be re-considered. We would need to consult again.”

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