Petition calls for action on 'dangerous' road through village

Gill Cameron Webb, Cllr John Hart and Cllr Jess Bailey with the road safety petition

Gill Cameron Webb, Cllr John Hart and Cllr Jess Bailey with the road safety petition - Credit: Contributed

A petition calling for urgent road safety improvements for pedestrians in Newton Poppleford has been handed to the leader of Devon County Council. 

The 767-signature petition was started by resident Beverley Raw, whose father Ken Cooper suffered fatal injuries when he was hit by a car on Newton Poppleford’s pedestrian crossing in December 2020. The sensors on the Puffin crossing did not pick up his movement and the traffic lights changed to green while he was still in the road.   

The village community had been campaigning for a lower speed limit and safer crossings for years, and Mr Cooper’s death galvanised them into further action. 

The petition was presented to Cllr John Hart by Newton Poppleford resident Gill Cameron Webb during the council’s cabinet meeting on Wednesday, June 8. It calls for Devon County Council to introduce a 20mph speed limit, create safer pavements for pedestrians, change the timer on the existing crossing and install extra crossings on other parts of the main road through the village. 

At the meeting Gill said: “It’s so distressing to watch elderly people having to wait ten minutes to cross and to see children dodging the cars. The residents of Newton Poppleford do not want to live with the daily danger of high volumes of speeding traffic aggravated by a lack of crossings and pavements." 

Following the meeting Cllr Jess Bailey, the county councillor representing Newton Poppleford, said: “Road safety improvements in Newton Poppleford must be a priority for Devon County Council. I fully support the petition and will do all that I can to support the campaign for urgently needed improvements". 

She has already been working with Beverley Raw for several months, supporting her road safety campaign. 

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The proposal for a lower speed limit and safer crossings in Newton Poppleford went before a meeting of East Devon’s Highways and Traffic Orders Committee (HATOC) in February this year. A report on the proposals is due to be discussed by the committee next month. 
 
Cllr Bailey said: “I hope that the petition will serve to demonstrate to the committee the strength of feeling in Newton Poppleford that urgent improvements are needed.