Calls for action over ‘unacceptable safety risk’ at Sidford Cross junction

PUBLISHED: 06:01 08 February 2016

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Archant

Sidford’s main junction is ‘a fatal accident waiting to happen’, according to a campaigner who is calling on authorities to act before it is too late.

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Peter Morling says that the four-way intersection poses an ‘unacceptable safety risk’ to children and the elderly, in particular, and is even dangerous for fit pedestrians who are forced to walk over the road with no crossing facilities.

The concerned Sidford Cross resident feels inadequate or no pavements exacerbate the dangers on the blind corners.

He spoke out this week on behalf of worried neighbours and from frustration at the lack of response he feels he has had from the highways authority.

Mr Morling has put forward a proposal that pedestrian crossings should be provided at each Sidford Cross road junction - to be activated when needed - and says he is prepared to keep putting pressure on Devon County Council (DCC) until something is done.

The authority responded to his concerns this week and said it is looking at the issues raised again - amid predictions the situation will only get worse with a site nearby earmarked as a potential business park.

Mr Morling said: “In modern times - regardless of budget limitations - I believe that pedestrians are entitled to safe walkways and crossing provisions at this key junction.

“A high percentage of the residential area is elderly and there are also a lot of young children. If people do not wish to drive, there is quite simply no safe pedestrian crossing to the Spar or The Byes.

“It’s a very important issue. I would challenge anyone to say there is a more pressing need than this one.”

He outlined a number of issues, including inadequate pavement width to the south west of High Street, and no walkway at all towards School Street. Mr Morling also says he regularly witnesses drivers ‘light jumping’.

While accepting that it would not be practical or possible to change some of these problems, he does believe safe pedestrian crossings at the lights would bring a significant safety improvement.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, DCC’s cabinet member for highways, said: “We thank Mr Morling for his observations, which we take fully on board. We’ve given much thought to the issues raised in the past and are currently doing so again in light of the Local Plan inspector’s decision to reinstate the Sidford business park, and the implications that would have on the junction at Sidford.”


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