Small victory in safety campaign for ‘Sidmouth’s most dangerous road’

New Police warning notice at Stowford near to the Beacon medical centre. Ref shs 7993-49-15SH. Pictu

New Police warning notice at Stowford near to the Beacon medical centre. Ref shs 7993-49-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

Residents near a road once dubbed ‘Sidmouth’s most dangerous’ are celebrating a small victory in a three-year battle to improve safety – but say more needs to be done.

A pair of signs reminding drivers it is an offence to go round two ‘keep left’ bollards at Stowford Rise were erected by the town’s police team this week.

And while campaigners have welcomed the progress, they have vowed to continue their fight to make the road safer.

The short stretch of road near Waitrose features a zebra crossing sandwiched between two bus stops.

Residents say they regularly see motorists speeding and ignoring the bollards to overtake parked busses.

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Retired ambulance technician Roy Gorman, who has been leading the campaign on behalf of Stowford residents, said: “I still feel that the whole thing revolves around speed and overtaking, and in all honesty some of the drivers’ ignorance of the Highway Code.

“I don’t want to be the person walking along there and have to pick someone up off the road because somebody has gone around a bus.

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“What we’d really like is a reduction in the speed limit from 30mph to 20mph and some more signs, but at least we are making some headway.”

In July, a separate attempt to install extra warning signs near the crossing went as far as Whitehall, but residents were left frustrated after it was refused by the Department for Transport – which said the current signage was sufficient.

Councillor Dawn Manley, whose home in Baker Close is near the crossing, said: “Roy has been campaigning for years and it is the first time we’ve had any sort of breakthrough.

“We’re hoping to get one of the signs moved to give it more visual impact.

“If we get that sign moved to the right place, it will definitely help.”

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Sidmouth’s representative at Devon County Council and the authority’s highways boss, said: “I do hope that these signs will drum the message home to motorists that it is an offence to overtake a keep-left bollard and, by doing so, other’s lives could very well be put at risk.”

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