One-way trip to rows and damage in Newton Poppleford

Traffic on the one-way system on Back Lane in Newton Poppleford during the A3052 road closure.

Traffic on the one-way system on Back Lane in Newton Poppleford during the A3052 road closure. - Credit: Archant

JAMS, rows, disputes and damage to vehicles took place while Newton Poppleford’s temporary one-way system was in operation recently.

In addition, there were incidents on the A3052 High Street itself.

In the most serious of these, there’s an unconfirmed report that late at night on Thursday, October 24, a lorry driver removed the barriers surrounding the road closure and drove straight through the roadworks.

The driver failed to replace the barriers, allowing other vehicles to pass over the unfinished road, putting drivers at risk.

It’s also been confirmed that another lorry ignored the series of road closed signs and drove right up to the barriers earlier on the same day. The driver had to reverse his vehicle, a manoeuvre that took more than 20 minutes, causing delays.

Reports of rule-breaking on the one-way system – with motorists driving in the wrong directions on Back Lane and School Lane – were rife on the Sidmouth Herald Facebook website almost as soon as the A3052 was closed on October 5 to allow South West Water to replace an elderly water mains system.

The police confirmed that people were contravening the one-way system at all times of the day, causing congestion and frustration.

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Unconfirmed incidents included one driver attacking another motorist’s vehicle on Back Lane near the club house and a large lorry causing congestion as the driver attempted to negotiate Dotton Lane.

Fortunately, with the A3052 now reopened both ways to buses and light traffic – with traffic-light control – the outlook is brighter, with local residents reporting that it is now easier to get in and out of the village.

However South West Water has stressed that HGVs should continue to use the lengthy diversion route via Honiton until the roadworks are completely finished. This is likely to be just before Christmas.