Warning signs plea rejected

Stowford Rise residents appeal to the public to slow down. Ref shs 3423-29-15AW. Picture: Alex Walto

Stowford Rise residents appeal to the public to slow down. Ref shs 3423-29-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

Residents near ‘Sidmouth’s most dangerous road’ fear they are running out of options after Whitehall rejected a plea to improve safety.

People living close to Stowford Rise say they see drivers speeding and ignoring a pair of ‘keep left’ bollards on a daily basis – despite first voicing their concerns to highways officials nearly three years ago.

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

Residents had hoped that additional warning signs on the bollards, which are either side of the crossing, would deter drivers from illegally overtaking parked busses.

But an application to the Department for Transport was recently refused after officials said the current signage was sufficient.

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Roy Gorman, who lives in Le Locle Close, said residents were concerned it is ‘just a matter of time’ before there is an accident.

He said: “I think it’s ridiculous that they can’t put another sign up.

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“We just want to remind people to keep left when there’s a bus parked there. I spent 50 years in the ambulance service, so that’s why I’m worried about it. I have seen too much blood and guts on the road – I don’t want to see any more.”

Woolbrook Meadows resident John Austin added: “It will be resolved when a body is scraped up there and they will say ‘we should have done something’.

“We see [cars overtaking busses] every day at the moment, and it’ll be worse once the new doctors’ surgery and pharmacy is open.”

Jan Jones, of Baker Close, added: “It’s an accident waiting to happen.

“Then when something does happen, it’ll be too late. Having a bus stop, then the crossing, then another bus stop is too much in one small place.”

Police Sergeant Andy Squires said he hoped warning signs, reminding drivers it was an offence to overtake around the bollards, would have proved effective.

He added: “There are people who last studied the highway code when they passed their driving test a long time ago, and a lot don’t realise it is actually an offence to go around that bollard.”

“But that isn’t going to be possible.

“Now I have two PCs back on my team, so we will be looking to enforce it from here on in.”

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