Bus company calls for yellow lines to halt Axminster crashes

BUS company First wants yellow lines painted on an Axminster road following several collisions with properties there – claiming illegally parked vehicles were to blame.

BUS company First wants yellow lines painted on an Axminster road following several collisions with properties there - claiming "illegally" parked vehicles were to blame.

The move comes after the Midweek Herald reported how KC Joinery, in Lyme Road, was hit three times by buses in recent months, costing hundreds of pounds in repairs.

Owner Nigel Collings said the bus company was shirking responsibility and driver error was to blame.

Mark Williams, First Hampshire and Dorset operations manager, told Axminster Town Council in a letter: "Our investigations found that each incident related to the bus having to negotiate around illegally parked vehicles (cars and delivery lorries) opposite and just up from KC Joinery.

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"The camber of the road at that point tilts the top of the bus towards the buildings whenever they move to the very edge of the road."

He said First had operated in the area for many years without incident and that the drivers were experienced.

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But, in recent months, the double-decker 31 service has been involved in several collisions, including with the Red Lion pub.

Mr Collings said he would fight any move to introduce yellow lines in the area.

He said: "Yellow lines would be bad for business.

"It would stop people stopping outside to pick up materials, or people dropping off supplies at the pub.

"The collisions have not been because of illegally parked vehicles. Each time there was a utility vehicle parked there. They are trying to pass the buck. It's down to the drivers to take more care.

"If they try to put yellow lines down I will fight it all the way."

Contrary to a company statement previously reported in the Herald, Mr Williams denied the company would consider re-routing the buses.

Axminster Town Council will be discussing the issue in the next traffic management committee meeting at the end of May. But town clerk Hilary Kirkcaldie said it was unlikely Devon County Council would fund new yellow lines.

She said she hoped the problem could be resolved by delivery lorries parking further up, where the road is wider.

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