Bid to extend 30mph limit on busy East Devon road is rejected by highways chiefs

Highways chiefs have rejected a bid to extend the 30mph speed limit on a busy East Devon road, despite concerns from local residents.  

West Hill Parish Council asked Devon County Council (DCC) for the measure on the B3180 to the north of the village, writes Local Democracy Reporter Joe Ives.

It said motorists are going too fast, too many HGVs are using the stretch, and the speed limit is not being enforced enough – all of which is putting cyclists and pedestrians at risk.

But Highways and Traffic Orders Committee (HATOC) members put the brakes on the bid as its officers and police said signs would be hidden by vegetation.

They also said extending the 30 mph limit would not comply with DCC’s policy because of the number of property frontages along the section of road.

However, councillors concluded the northbound and southbound sections of the B3180 would benefit from regular speed enforcement.

A survey carried out by DCC in July found that, on average, southbound drivers were going at 33.3mph, while northbound drivers were speeding at 31.1mph.

Otter Valley representative Councillor Jess Bailey said: “I think there is still a lot of concern from the [B3180] action group, concern from both the parish councils – West Hill Parish Council and Aylesbeare Parish Council – and residents.”

She asked for DCC’s Highways team to engage with the parish councils and the B3180 action group and to look into other opportunities for boosting road safety.

She added that there was still upset and concern in the West Hill community and that DCC should stay engaged with residents.

Broadclyst ward member Cllr Sara Randall-Jonson added: “This isn’t necessarily about being draconian and trying to impose things on people. What we need to do is the opposite approach; to encourage them to think about their speed.

“It’s something that’s wrong in the way we approach driving, the way we approach the road. We just don’t think what it’s like when we’re in the other position.

“We can make it hideously difficult to drive, but people will still drive too fast. It’s about how we change the cultural approach when we get in a vehicle versus walking along the side of the road.”

Feniton and Honiton representative Cllr Phil Twiss said: “This is more about education than enforcement, because there is no way that this can be enforced.”

Police records show four slight-injury collisions between Brickyard Road and Oak Road on the B3180 between 2016 and 2020.

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