Health and safety gone mad?

Devon County Council admit to putting out too many signs after complaints by an Offwell resident.

Questions have been raised over whether health and safety has ‘gone mad’ after a narrow country lane in Offwell was covered in road signs, as Devon County Council admitted putting out too many.

A substantial number of signs have been put up along the road, warning drivers against skid risks in Featherbed Lane as work is carried out, which has been described as ‘ludicrous’.

One resident, who did not want to be named, said: “It is health and safety gone mad. It is just ludicrous to have all those signs up just for 200 metres of roadworks. It is a waste of time – putting up the signs must have taken hours.”

However, it seems he is not alone as many shoppers in Honiton feel there is too much of an emphasis on health and safety.

Mike Bolwell, 75, said: “Health and safety is overdone. If something does go wrong, there must be a law to make things go right. The problem is there are too many signs, which you haven’t got time to read and it makes you take your eyes off the road, which causes accidents.”

His wife Anne added: “There are too many signs – I think we do go a bit overboard with signs. It is more of a distraction than a help and, by the time you have looked at them, you might have hit someone. We are told what to do too much when people need to use their common sense. Health and safety is rubbish.”

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Peter Blake, 66, said: “I think health and safety is important if they are doing work to the roads there are a lot of stone chippings and, if you drive faster than 25mph, the stones can cause a lot of damage to your car and any car that is passing. Health and safety is very important in many senses but I do think we do go a bit overboard in some respects. There is more of a suing culture today where people are claiming for injuries.”

Doreen Lockley, 76, of Honiton, said: “Sometimes I do think we go overboard with health and safety. Signs are important to inform drivers but it could be a distraction.”

A spokesmen for Devon County Council said that, on inspection, there were too many warning signs erected. He said: “There were too many and, therefore, we have asked our contractors to remove a number of signs that were unnecessary.”