Friday, 12 June 2009

Speeding traffic knows no limits

A few days ago this Renault Clio driver was certainly not observing the 30 mph speed limit or the polite request to drive slowly when he or she took the bend on Exmouth Road approaching West Hill.

In fact the driver showed what regard the sign is held in by demolishing it!

Budleigh Salterton is a relatively law-abiding sort of place, but the police would be the first to agree that a crime is being committed every few minutes at certain times of the day on the approach roads to the town.

Many Exmouth Road residents believe that the ‘Please drive carefully’ sign hit by the speeding driver should have been located at the Knowle Road junction rather than where it currently lies.

It was reported last month that vehicle speed checks conducted by the police using a radar device revealed that out of 66 vehicles checked on West Hill 22 were found to be over the 30 mph limit.

Approximately 23 vehicles out of 52 checked travelling through Knowle village were discovered to be exceeding the 30 mph speed limit.

The new speeding revelations and this latest road accident come more than a year after Budleigh Salterton Traffic Task & Finish Forum’s deliberations on the issue of speeding drivers. At their meeting in April 2008 members of the Forum suggested that the Knowle area could be included in a School Travel Plan with possible ‘children’ signage in the village.

It was further agreed by the Forum that temporary flashing signs could be utilised and reaction gauged with a view to a permanent sign being installed. A suitable lamp post was all that would be required as far as location was concerned.

However Devon & Cornwall Police according to County Councillor Christine Channon prefer a peripatetic sign as opposed to a fixed sign. Inevitably money is an issue. “Eastern Highways have three of these signs but these have to cover the whole of East Devon area so we get little chance to use them in Budleigh Salterton,” explained Cllr Channon earlier this year. “A sign costs £4.5 k and the maintenance contract is extra.”

Following the recent incident on Exmouth Road, Cllr Channon expressed concern about the current situation. “The police do not seem to be able to tackle the Exmouth Road speeding problem very effectively,” she said. “In spite of the police request for a peripatetic system I have now requested costings for a permanent flashing sign for Exmouth Road as I do believe that they have a clear psychological affect on drivers.”

Yet another proposal by the Forum was that on Exmouth Road a ‘name and shame’ tactic could be used, with details of fines levied.

Several tickets have been handed out to speeding drivers according to Cllr Channon, who confirmed last February that she was trying to implement this Forum proposal. “I have requested in future that these people are named in the local paper. I have received a promise and I hope that it will be fulfilled.”

So far this year, no speeding drivers have been named in the local media.

Road conditions in this area of Budleigh are notoriously hazardous, with many bends and poor visibility. Pedestrians on West Hill for example are dangerously exposed to fast traffic because of the lack of a pavement, and vegetation which conceals warning signs makes matters worse.

Speeding traffic on East Budleigh Road has also been an issue discussed by the Traffic Task & Finish Forum. After 25 years of campaigning, residents celebrated victory last month with the news that Devon County Council has included a traffic calming priority system in its planned improvements for the road.


  1. Walked up to Sherbrook Hill today with my children, was terrifying. Look at the approach to Sidmouth with their traffic calming, this is what is needed, and it will save lives. Needs to happen now.

  2. I'm rather confused. This is the UK, yes? Why is "MPH" being used instead of "KPH" unless "MPH" means "Meters Per Hour" which would imply that B-S is indeed a sloooooow place...?