Mystery metal rods appear on town roads

The metal rods found on Sidmouth roads and paths.

The metal rods found on Sidmouth roads and paths. - Credit: Archant

The mystery behind the appearance of a number of sharp metal rods on roads and paths around Sidmouth has been solved.

The issue was first brought to light by a resident, who reported finding a number of sharp and pointed pieces of metal about 15cm to 20cm long, on the social networking site Streetlife, using the username Theinquisitiveranter.

The metal pieces had been found on the road and pavements down Bickwell Valley, in the High Street, Seafield Road and in Glen Road, as well as in other spots in the town, such as the Esplanade.

One resident, under the username Barnacle Bill, said it was a ‘very serious matter’ as the rods could cause damage to vehicles and possible injuries to other road users.

Bill added: “It is extraordinary these items were littering the roads and gutters just before a Tour of Britain cycle race was in the area - they could have led to devastating injuries.”


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An East Devon District Council spokeswoman confirmed the metal strands, which had been found in and around Sidmouth recently, had come from an East Devon small sweeper, which had a made-to-order metal and plastic combination brush.

She added they had contacted the supplier to find out whether the brush was from a faulty batch.

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The spokeswoman added they were expecting to hear back from them this week.

“We anticipate that we may have to order a replacement brush,” she said.

“However, in the meantime the sweeper will continue to do its rounds with a temporary poly brush.”

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