Thursday, 31 March 2011

Cutting hedge technology needed

If you've read my past complaints at about speeding traffic on the roads around Budleigh Salterton you'll know that Devon County Councillor Christine Channon has been hard at work persuading the powers that be to install interactive warning signs at approaches to the town.

Many local residents shared my concerns. "Walked up to Sherbrook Hill today with my children, was terrifying," was one comment on my blog post. "Look at the approach to Sidmouth with their traffic calming, this is what is needed, and it will save lives. Needs to happen now."

So I was delighted to see that two of these clever devices have appeared on West Hill and Exmouth Road. I wanted a photo of the West Hill sign - illuminated of course - and had to wait for quite some time for a speeding car like the one in the above photo to light it up. How reassuring, I thought. Were the signs actually needed after all when most drivers seemed to be so law-abiding?

But then it struck me that vehicles don't usually exceed the 30 mph limit when travelling uphill. And sure enough, further along on Exmouth Road, where there's a slight downhill run, the speed restriction was being ignored in much the same way that it always has been by a selfish minority of drivers.

It also struck me, as I admired the new interactive sign on West Hill with its cutting edge solar-powered technology, that something was missing. Where was that useful triangular warning sign telling drivers to beware of pedestrians at that point where the road is so narrow that there is no pavement? It had been exchanged for the new smart gadget.

And I then remembered the photo that I took a year or so ago showing how any warning sign at that point is likely to be hidden by foliage as the summer comes on. Perhaps the new device comes with its own hedge trimmer.

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