‘Restrict HGV congestion’

Flags erected by Redrow Homes on its the land behind Butts Road after a succesful appeal to put 130

Flags erected by Redrow Homes on its the land behind Butts Road after a succesful appeal to put 130 homes on the site. - Credit: Archant

A town councillor is calling for a clampdown on heavy vehicles causing excessive congestion on Ottery’s roads.

Councillor Geoff Pratt says increasing traffic in and around the town is an ongoing concern for the community and will contribute to ‘higher levels of pollution and health problems’.

He is challenging Devon County Council’s (DCC) highways department to take stronger enforcement action against heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).

Cllr Pratt – a member of the neighbourhood plan working group – said: “Many residents have complained that the roads, particularly in the town centre, are becoming heavily congested.

“It appears that a large number of HGVs use the town centre as a shortcut, causing snarl ups not only in the town centre, but in the lanes around Wiggaton.”

He said while it is accepted some HGVs and farm vehicles need to gain access, most should stick to the authorised route on the B3180 linking the Daisymount junction with the A3052.

Cllr Pratt added: “There are only advisory signs at Fairmile and Bowd, which recommend the roads to be unsuitable for HGVs.

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“These signs are unenforceable and further restrictions need to be put in place by DCC.

“With the increased number of houses being constructed, traffic problems will increase, which will contribute to increased pollution and health problems. Transport and roads are one of the most important aspects of the neighbourhood plan. I think we will have to consider at some time in the future a new relief road linking the Exeter Road with North Street at the Butts Road junction.”

Devon’s highways boss, Cllr Stuart Hughes, said: “We support the Local Government Association’s call to allow councils powers to impose fines on lorry drivers who ignore the weight and width restrictions.”

But he added that as a busy town, Ottery demands a high number of deliveries and the enforcement of any weight restrictions, should they be implemented,would be a significant challenge for the police.