£47,000 pledged for Hunters Lodge safety scheme

The scene  at the Hunters Lodge accident which claimed two lives last summer. The scene at the Hunters Lodge accident which claimed two lives last summer.

Thursday, January 16, 2014
11:03 AM

Plan for improvements to the accident blackspot on the A35 near Axminster will be unveiled next month

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Almost £50,000 is being made available for improvements to the notorious Hunters Lodge accident blackspot near Axminster.

Safety work has been given the green light following a series of crashes at the junction – which claimed the lives of two elderly women last summer.

Now the Highways Agency has secured funding for a revised scheme for the crossroads with construction starting in April next year.

A further £10,000 is being made available to conduct a traffic study into driver behaviour and speeds along that stretch of the A35.

At the same time Devon County Council will also assess Lyme Road to consider what improvements can be made on the approaches to the junction.

News of the planned work came from MP Neil Parish who hosted a public meeting last year when residents and victims’ relatives called for urgent action.

He said: “There have long been concerns around this accident blackspot, particularly after the tragic events of July

last year, which claimed two lives.

“The fact that there was another accident on Saturday, December 28, only reinforces our case for safety improvements at this junction.

“I had met with the Highways Agency over a year ago to discuss improving the signs and white lines at the junction in response to widespread concern in Uplyme and Axminster. At this meeting we were told that improvements had been proposed and that these were in the pipeline.”

Mr Parish said at a further meeting last month he was told the Highways Agency has secured some £47,000 to progress a revised scheme for the junction.

He said: “During the meeting I pressed the Highways Agency to provide assurances that the money would not just be

spent on consultants and planning but on real concrete improvements. I also made the point that there

needs to be a speed camera on the A35. They did assure me that every effort would be made to have a scheme outline available to present to stakeholders by the end of February.

At Axminster Town Council on Monday Mayor Jeremy Walden welcomed news that a scheme was being progressed.

“But we need to see what the proposal is,” he said. “I suspect the solution the Highways Agency comes up with is not what the people of Axminster and Uplyme think is adequate – but I may be wrong.”

Road safety campaigner Joy Raymond from Hedgehog Guest Accommodation near the Hunters Lodge crossroads, said: “This is very good news and I look forward to seeing the report at the end of February.”

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