Councillor frustrated at lack of plans to restrict HGVs in Sidford and Sidbury

Large vehicles have difficulty passing in Sidbury. Picture: Marianne Rixson

Large vehicles have difficulty passing in Sidbury. Picture: Marianne Rixson - Credit: Picture: Marianne Rixson

Heavy lorries look set to continue rumbling through Sidford and Sidbury, as no action will be taken until after the planned Sidford business park is built.

In the last few years, the two villages have seen an increase in HGVs using their narrow roads, with pinch points and no pavements, leading to road safety concerns.

Last August the application to turn agricultural land east of Two Bridges Road into a business park was approved at an appeal hearing, overturning East Devon District Council’s rejection of the scheme on the grounds of a further increase in HGV traffic.

At the time Sidmouth councillor Stuart Hughes asked the East Devon Highways committee to consider a 7.5 tonne weight restriction on lorries using the A375 through Sidbury to the traffic light junction at Sidford Cross.

But, after raising the issue again at the East Devon Highways committee meeting on Friday, July 10, Cllr Hughes expressed frustration that nothing would be done to prevent the increase in heavy goods traffic.

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He said: “If and when the business park is built, then they will look at the route through Sidford and Sidbury and if there is a big increase in HGVs, which I’m pretty certain will be the case, then they will look to do something.

“Until such time as it is built, nothing’s going to happen, I can try as hard as I like but no-one’s going to impose a weight restriction on that road at the present time.

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“All I can do is keep shouting for it, along with the residents, and express their concerns, and they have got concerns and I agree with them.”

Cllr Hughes, who is also the cabinet member for highways management, is to liaise with highways officers in monitoring the impact on traffic after the business park is built.

If a weight restriction is agreed, all HGVs over 7.5 tonnes would have to take a signed diversion route away from the villages, likely to be via the A30 to the Daisymount roundabout.

But they would still be able to use the road for necessary access and to carry out deliveries.

At the highways committee meeting, Cllr Claire Wright said the diversion would affect the B3180 in her Otter Valley division, with an increase in HGVs there.

Cllr Hughes acknowledged: “Whenever you introduce a weight limit, it will just move the HGVs elsewhere.”

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