Axmouth lorry ban: Building preservation being put above human safety?

PUBLISHED: 15:39 16 March 2011

Axmouth residents protesting at HGV traffic through their village. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref mhv 8973-06-11SH

Axmouth residents protesting at HGV traffic through their village. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref mhv 8973-06-11SH

Archant

Seaton braced for repurcussions.

It saddens me that there appears to be a conflict between Axmouth and Seaton over lorries. I agree that ancient properties are important to our heritage, but I am certain that residents of Axmouth must agree that human safety should be paramount.

As I now understand it, the Highways and Traffic Orders Committee will be considering placing a 7.5tonne MGW limit on the B3172 through Axmouth from Boshill Cross and, if granted, all construction and servicing traffic will be directed through Colyford and along Harepath Road in Seaton. It would traverse a congested and deeply populated road with obstacles and pass six more listed properties than on the B3172.

I, personally, try to avoid Harepath Road, because, being relatively densely populated, it is very hectic with cars parked along its length, and inadequate footpath at many points.

By dictating that HGVs must use Harepath Road, rather than Axmouth, building preservation (though admirable) is taking priority above and beyond human safety. Is this right?

Basically, there is no suitable, long-term access into Seaton for HGVs, or the projected increased traffic, once the store is completed.

Sadly, East Devon District Council didn’t listen to reason, or valid arguments, when they granted planning, on the coast with no suitable road or sea access for a vast construction site!

As I stated at that meeting: “There are serious health and safety, plus property damage issues with regard to HGV usage on these inadequate roads.”

Colyford Road is a narrow, undulating route, designated as part of the National Cycle Route. It passes a busy corner shop, a public open green space, the cemetery, the Wetlands Project entrance, the football club, cricket club and St Gregory’s Church and hall. It also passes seven listed buildings.

Harepath Road is predominantly residential, interrupted by side roads to further residential areas. This route would pass Colyton Grammar bus collection/drop off point and seventeen listed buildings before joining Harepath Road.

At this stage in the route, population increases and obstacles include The Auction House (where visitors park in Harepath Road on auction day),

The primary school, doctors’ surgeries, a pharmacy shop and entrance to two well frequented church buildings.

Having spoken to Seaton Town Council, I understand they and Colyton Parish Council have grave concerns over the repercussions on their residents should the proposed weight limit be sanctioned.

Claire Wise

Meadow Road

Seaton


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