‘We’re just waiting for somebody to be killed’
- Credit: Archant
CONCERNED residents say the combination of bus stops, a zebra crossing and rogue motorists have made a busy road ‘the most dangerous part of Sidmouth’ and warned: “Someone is going to die.”
Neighbours who live near Stowford Rise have pleaded for changes to be made to a highway layout they say is putting pedestrians – young and old – at risk.
Every day numerous cars illegally overtake parked buses – often at speed - and hurtle over a zebra crossing which is sandwiched between two stops.
Roy Gorman, John Austin and Charlie Nex have been cataloguing incidents over the last two years of motorists losing patience, ignoring a ‘keep left’ bollard and steering onto the wrong side of the road.
Large double decker busses are often parked at the stops – meaning car drivers and pedestrians crossing the road can be unsighted and oblivious to one another.
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“We’re just waiting for somebody to be killed, God forbid that should happen,” said Mr Gorman.
“This is the most dangerous part of town, we’ve got so much concentrated in a small area.”
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Mr Austin added: “What we’re trying to do is save someone’s life. There’s no point nailing one or two motorists. They need to do something about the layout.”
“We’ve all witnessed near misses,” said Mr Nex. “You get people driving straight at you [on the crossing] and when I’ve remonstrated before, I’ve recieved a mouthful of abuse.
“I don’t think there’s a worse zebra crossing in Sidmouth. Whoever put these bus stops where they are, with the crossing where it is, just wasn’t thinking.”
The residents say traffic has increased significantly since hundreds of new houses were built in an area that is also home to Waitrose and a community centre - and it will get busier with the addition of a new health centre.
They apreciate that police have visited the area and recognise officers can only spend a certain amount of time there.
The residents have won the support of Gerry Moore from the East and Mid Devon Community Safety Partnership, who has seen the problems first-hand.
He said: “As a layman, my initial reaction is the road layout is completely unsatisfactory. Two bus stops with a pedestrian crossing in the middle, there are quite a lot of things wrong with that. There are breaches of the law every day. I agree it’s an accident waiting to happen.”
A Devon County Council spokesperson told the Herald last week: “Highways officers are aware of this problem and are looking into how it can be resolved. In the meantime, we would kindly remind drivers to drive sensibly, to stick to the legal keep left bollards and not overtake the buses.”