Friday, October 4, 2013
Villagers grill Neil Parish MP over infamous Hunters Lodge junction.
“We are all at risk” - that was the message conveyed by more than 100 people who attended a public meeting to discuss a notorious driving blackspot which has recently claimed two lives.
The Hunters Lodge junction, on the A35, near Axminster, was discussed as residents voiced their concerns over the road.
Led by local resident Joy Raymond, she and the group questioned local MP Neil Parish, who urged people to rally together and continue to push for road safety improvements.
The main road has been subject of public concern for years, as drivers frequently ignore the 40mph speed limit, with some said to be travelling at speeds of up to, and over, 80mph.
This has increased the likelihood of accidents occurring, with vehicles using the crossroads to join the main road, something Axminster residents know all too well.
“A lot of local people divert their route to avoid the junction,” one speaker said. “It is a notorious road for danger. We need to take action.”
Suggestions of implementing a roundabout on the road have been rejected through lack of funds, but Mr Parish said he will continue to look into affordable alternatives.
Addressing the crowd, he said: “We are not ignoring the situation. There was a proposal on the table about Hunters Lodge but it was not good enough – it was more about markings and signals on the road which wouldn’t be effective enough.”
“In a future meeting, the Highway Agency is going to look at another scheme, and I ask you to work with me and help make another one to submit to them.”
The realities of the road’s danger were truly brought home when Gerry Manning, whose mother Pamela died in a car crash on the A35 at Hunters Lodge earlier this year, called for a public enquiry to be made.
“A lot of people have been killed or injured on it,” he said. It’s rubbish, and needs to be sorted out.
“I owe it to my mother to fix this road, and I’ll do whatever I can to make sure it happens.”
Town, district and county councillor Andrew Moulding also addressed the meeting, praising the fire and rescue service for sending a representative on the evening.