Slow down! Petition over Ottery St Mary’s ‘crazy’ road

Slow sign

Slow sign - Credit: Archant

A ‘dangerous’ stretch of road near Ottery St Mary Primary School has become the subject of a second petition by campaigners desperate to see safety improved.

The community has this week spoken out in support of calls to lower the speed limit in Slade Road - and police have issued a plea for motorists to drive slower and with more care in the notorious ‘problem’ area.

Ann Marie Richards, of Mill Street, says she had a lucky escape from a recent incident on the route and is now set to start a petition in a bid to make it safer for pedestrians, horse riders and vulnerable road users - before someone is ‘seriously injured’.

More than a decade of concerns about the area last year sparked a successful petition - signed by 250 people - calling for double yellow lines to be painted to help ease problems, but campaigners say the issue of speed also needs to be addressed.

Social work student Ann Marie, 28, told the Herald: “I think something needs to be done, because I was not injured badly, but someone is going to be. It is crazy, it really is.

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“Roads around Ottery are all pretty bad, but Slade Road is the worst. It’s quite dangerous driving along there – it’s a bit of a free-for-all.

“I often ride my horses up there and you have to hope and pray. A lot of horse riders agree that people just drive too fast. The road goes from 30mph to national speed limit and drivers assume they can do 60mph.”

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PCSO Maria Clapp, of Ottery’s neighbourhood policing team, helped instigate the petition to get yellow lines at the entrance to Slade Road and Bridgefield - which are due to be painted in the near future. She agreed traffic speed is a problem and appealed to motorists to drive carefully and with consideration ‘before it is too late’.

“In general, people need to slow down,” said PCSO Clapp. “I would also like to remind drivers to take care and not drive with aggression when they are approaching the box junction. There is quite often a problem in this area, as drivers will not give way to the driver coming in the other direction.”

Grandmother Alison Osbourne, of Slade Close, spearheaded the first petition and spoke out in support of the move to impose more speed restrictions. She said: “When I did the petition, a lot of people said to me that not only was it dangerous, but the speed [people drive at] is dangerous as well. I promised I would bring it up. It could easily be a school child killed. I would support a petition to lower the speed limit.”

A spokesman for Devon County Council explained the process for considering speed limit changes was done in partnership with police and involved traffic monitoring to assess whether the problem was perceived or if it was genuinely a safety concern. He said: “Accident records would also be considered before a decision would be made. We’re not aware of a problem with vehicles travelling excessive speeds on that road, but we’d welcome the petition and will respond to it accordingly.”

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