Walkers endure gauntlet of fear

PUBLISHED: 12:15 02 July 2008 | UPDATED: 10:47 17 June 2010

WALKING to the shops in Sidford is a dangerous occupation for residents, as has been highlighted with one woman's brush with a bus. Patricia Worth, 73, who has lived at Orchard Close, Sidford, since 1984, is worried about making the journey to village sho

WALKING to the shops in Sidford is a dangerous occupation for residents, as has been highlighted with one woman's brush with a bus.Patricia Worth, 73, who has lived at Orchard Close, Sidford, since 1984, is worried about making the journey to village shops after having her arm knocked as she negotiated the narrowest part of the footway outside Porch Cottages recently.Although not badly hurt, she said: "It knocked me against the wall. Its tyres scraped the kerb. It petrifies me walking along that bit. It is not just elderly people who want something done. It is terribly dangerous."She was so angry about her close encounter she contacted Councillor Ian Mackenzie Edwards, who brought the matter before the town council.Mrs Worth said: "Outside Porch Cottages is the narrowest bit. One day I had my shopping basket whipped off my arm by a car mirror. The driver stopped at the pedestrian crossing and threw it off."Another lady was hit by someone who drove off. Will people wait until someone is dead before they do anything about it? "It is so dangerous at one time a vehicle mounted the pavement and knocked the wall down. "I'm always afraid of having my head bashed by wing mirrors from big lorries. One day someone is going to be killed."Mr Mackenzie Edwards told fellow councillors: "This is a great concern to Sidford residents. Money was allocated for improvements in the village but I'm afraid the notable omission is the pinchpoint. "I think this has really become a matter of urgency. Something needs to be done."Devon County Councillor for Sidmouth/Sidford, Councillor Stuart Hughes, said DCC was carrying out footway improvements."This is the last piece in the jigsaw. The problem is county has exhausted every avenue to seek permission from the landowners to do the work and move the wall back. The only option now is a compulsory purchase order."Stagecoach's operations director Richard Stevens said: "The more separation between pedestrians and traffic is for the greater good. The whole of Devon is covered in narrow streets and lanes and our drivers do their best in difficult situations.

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