No plans to downgrade A373

PUBLISHED: 14:29 11 February 2010 | UPDATED: 00:54 16 June 2010

Dowell Street is on the A373. This was the scene after a lorry was in collision with scaffolding.

Dowell Street is on the A373. This was the scene after a lorry was in collision with scaffolding.

FOUR years after the East Devon Community Safety Partnership heard that the A373, between Cullompton and Honiton, was to be downgraded to a B road, residents living along the route are still waiting for action.

FOUR years after the East Devon Community Safety Partnership heard that the A373, between Cullompton and Honiton, was to be downgraded to a B road, residents living along the route are still waiting for action.

Dowell Street, in Honiton, bears the brunt of heavy goods vehicles, which are being sent along the A373 by satellite navigation systems.

Ray Griffin, of Dowell Street, is fed up with the lack of action and says local authorities could be doing more to reduce traffic using the road.

Devon County Council has told the Herald it has no plans to downgrade the road's status.

Mr Griffin said: "Devon County Council has the authority to tell mapping data providers, Navteq and TeleAtlas, to remove the route from satellite navigation systems.

"Why haven't they done that?

"It is now four years since we were told the road was being downgraded.

"Refrigerated lorries are using the road and stopping at the traffic lights as early as 4am. The noise is horrendous."

Mr Griffin is concerned Honiton Town Council is putting health and safety "on the back burner" - by not requesting a traffic survey for the road before submitting plans for the proposed Beehive Community Centre.

The council has said it wants highways issues considered as part of the application process.

"Fatal accidents have occurred on the road and properties are constantly being hit and damaged by lorries. Health and safety has been put on the back burner," said Mr Griffin.

The Road Haulage Association said in 2006: "We believe the majority of lorries using the road do so to service businesses in Cullompton and Honiton, together with the farms and villages in between the two towns.

"If lorries travelling from Cullompton to Honiton are to be expected to divert along the M5 and A30, this would more than double the length of the journey, with additional impact on the environment and the cost this would entail."

A spokesman for Devon County Council said: "Any changes to the route classification of the A373 would be progressed by us, and we have no proposals to change the current status of this road.

"We are unable to force sat nav companies to remove routes from their equipment.

"However, we are lobbying at a regional level to increase liaison between sat nav companies and local authorities on route determination.

"DCC does have an online reporting tool for perceived sat nav issues; the tool is a useful means for DCC to monitor the extent of the perceived problem in Devon.

"Current data seems to show there is little evidence of drivers getting lost, but rather that their vehicles are too large to access individual sites because of where the sites are located.

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