Safety measures proposed for ‘accident hotspot’ Newton Poppleford road

PUBLISHED: 12:45 27 November 2017 | UPDATED: 12:45 27 November 2017

Councillor Claire Wright.

Councillor Claire Wright.

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Highways bosses are set to consider new measures to prevent overtaking on the ‘accident hotspot’ road between Sidmouth and Newton Poppleford.

Figures from Devon County Council (DCC) show there were 23 slight injuries and three serious collisions on Four Elms Hill between January 2012 and 2016.

The authority is now considering a review of the double white lines, with a survey proposed for early next year.

Councillor Claire Wright, who represents the Otter Valley, said: “The hill sees many accidents each year and tragically, there have also been deaths, most recently earlier this year.

“The road is surprisingly treacherous. It is very steep and has a sharp bend at the top.

“Drivers are tempted to overtake each other, with sometimes devastating consequences. The line of trees on one side of the road can also make visibility a bit of a problem on dull days.

“I am very concerned at the many accidents that are happening here and welcome the proposal to alter the white lines in the centre of the road.

“I would, however, question whether this was enough. I share district councillor Val Ranger’s view, and that of Newton Poppleford and Harpford Parish Council, that there needs to be more intervention.

“I am well aware of budgetary constraints but if people are dying and being seriously injured then it is important that we do everything we can to prevent this.”

A report to DCC’s highways and traffic orders committee says: “An initial visual inspection of lining on the road has suggested that some changes to the lining might be appropriate.

“It is therefore proposed that a full survey should be undertaken to assess the matter.

“This will involve installing traffic control on the road to undertake the survey and to install speed detection equipment.

“It is anticipated that the survey will be undertaken within the first quarter of 2018, depending on the availability of road space.”

The survey would cost around £3,000. The committee will meet on Thursday, November 30, to discuss the proposals.

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