Axe Valley residents join forces to halt lorry menace

Axmouth and Colyford agree joint approach to protect their communities from HGVs

AXE Valley residents are joining forces to protect their historic communities from heavy lorries.

Axmouth’s battle against the HGVs is being supported by councillors from Colyton and Colyford.

At a packed meeting in the village hall last week representatives from both communities agreed to ask transport chiefs to extend a planned traffic review to include the whole of the Lower Axe Estuary.

The joint call comes after Axmouth’s bid for a 7.5tonne limit was rejected by East Devon Highways and Traffic Order Committee (HATOC).

Axmouth parish councillors, led by Chairman , Carol Rapley, agreed that an update of village views should be sought to ensure clarity, ahead of a joint direct effort by residents, throughout the estuary, to resolve their shared traffic problems.

The meeting was told that the possibility of a relief road for Axmouth was suggested at the HATOC meeting and that it should be included in the EDDC Local Development Framework and DCC Local Transport Plan.

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But this had been discounted previously by both county and district planners.

The recent Axmouth Parish Plan did not show support, but circumstances may have changed, it was suggested.

And with a traffic review for Seaton being brought forward,

both Axmouth residents and neighbours from Colyford agreed to write to their county councillors, asking for it to be immediately extended, to include the whole of the Lower Axe Estuary.

The meeting also agreed to secure an updated traffic survey for Axmouth – to be supplemented with a manual survey to provide up-to-date traffic information.

A spokesman told The Herald: “We will then have a clear evidence base for future traffic levels to drive a full strategic review of the transport infrastructure of the Estuary.

“It is clear that a large increase in traffic volume is coming to the Lower Axe Estuary associated with the petrol filling station, Tesco store, 400-600 houses and major commercial development of the Axe Riverside site.

“Yet beyond the immediate Seaton site, there appears a reluctance to recognise the inadequacy of the four alternate access routes.

“These traffic volume increases are coming, there is no point sticking our collective heads in the ‘Axe mud’. As villages we need to get together with Seaton to find a proper solution, which shares the additional burden and any economic gains equitably.”