Fears over speeding cars in Honiton

Market traders and shoppers being put at risk by speeders.

SPEEDING cars are putting Honiton market traders and shoppers at risk, an official warned this week.

The ongoing traffic problems in High Street were raised by marketing manager Tony McCollum, during a meeting of the town council on Monday night.

He said: “Speed through the town is my biggest concern and that someone, somewhere, is going to get clipped by a vehicle.”

Large reflective cones have been put out on market day to offer traders some protection from the passing vehicles but the problem is particularly bad by St Paul’s Church, where a number of cones have been knocked down, he said.

He added: “There are cones outside the stalls to protect people and stallholders.”

Mr McCollum said he, himself, had been clipped by a passing car, which had caught him on the arm, before driving away.

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He said: “Traffic is an issue even with big vehicles. Some vehicles coming through don’t slow down.”

Councillor David Foster questioned whether alternative barriers had been looked into but Mr Collum said proper barriers were very labour intensive and costly.

The town mayor, Councillor Vernon Whitlock told the meeting that this was an ongoing problem in the town, which he felt was better than it had been in years.

However, despite the traffic problems, the market is thriving and helping to bring visitors into the town.

He said: “Over the last 12 months, a lot of work has gone into changing the market with a better variety of stalls and products to encourage local people to use the market.

“I think we have achieved it – we have a greater variety and more people are coming to Honiton market. We have now got a very good reputation and other markets are looking to Honiton and see where they can make improvements.

“Markets are really struggling in Somerset, Tiverton and Barnstaple but, at the moment, we are way up.”

He told councillors that the Saturday market was continuing to be very successful and was the driving force of the market, which was followed by a buoyant Tuesday market.

Mr McCollum hopes the town’s monthly local produce market on Thursday’s, which has been piloted this year, will be much better next year.

He added: “Everyone agrees that the market is going the right way.”

Councillor Whitlock thanked Mr McCollum for his hard work and congratulated him on the success of the market.