A notorious accident blackspot between Newton Poppleford and Sidmouth is set to have its speed limit reduced to 40mph, after years of lobbying from councillors, police officers and local people.
This morning, councillors on Devon County Council’s Highways and Traffic Orders Committee, agreed to spend £10,000 on a formal traffic order to reduce the speed limit on the A3052 at Four Elms Hill, from from the national speed limit of 60mph, to 40mph.
Double white lines are also set to be introduced throughout the hill, which are only currently partly present.
The new speed reduction is proposed from between the Bowd junction and the 30mph section at Newton Poppleford.
There have been dozens of accidents over the years, tragically including fatalities.
Today, Newton Poppleford Parish Council chairman, Chris Burhop, informed the committee that the road is closed on almost a weekly basis, due to regular collisions.
Police sergeant, Andy Squires informed the committee that the Devon County Council speed checks were likely to be underestimates due to the location they had been taken in. Officers replied that they needed to seek a safe place to carry out the checks.
As the Devon County Councillor for Newton Poppleford, I first brought these specific proposals to committee in November 2017, after hearing strongly held views by Val Ranger, East Devon District Councillor for the area, and Newton Poppleford Parish Council, local people and the police – all of whom were worried about the number of accidents taking place.
Highways officers will now consult with local police officers before advertising the proposal to local people. A traffic order will then be applied for.
Officers confirmed that if there are no objections the new speed limit should be in place by next July (2020).
Following representations from Chris Burhop and Val Ranger, I proposed that the recommendations were expanded to include making the edges of the road safer, particularly in relating to the sunken drains and repainting the faded slow down line markings. Committee chair, Stuart Hughes also proposed some speed reducing friction markings at the top of the hill. These were also agreed.
After almost two years of waiting (there are obvious resource issues with staffing and funding at Devon County Council) I’m absolutely delighted that such a notorious blackspot will at last be made safer.