Safety measures planned for lethal stretch of A35

PUBLISHED: 10:12 07 August 2019 | UPDATED: 09:09 12 August 2019

The scene on the A35  near Kilmington where a Tesco lorry driver died in April. Picture LDRS

The scene on the A35 near Kilmington where a Tesco lorry driver died in April. Picture LDRS

Archant

Average speed cameras could be installed along a 13 mile stretch of the A35 that has seen four deaths in the last year.

Tributes left by the roadside on the A35 near Wilmington where Hontion teenager Blake Harkin died last year.. Picture Chris CarsonTributes left by the roadside on the A35 near Wilmington where Hontion teenager Blake Harkin died last year.. Picture Chris Carson

Campaigners have been calling for improvements to the section of road that links Honiton with Charmouth.

Highways England has confirmed that, subject to funding, a number of safety measures could be implemented in the next three years.

These include average speed cameras and pedestrian crossings in Wilmington and Kilmington, where residents sometimes have to wait five minutes to cross the road.

The move to improve safety comes after Devon County Council backed a motion from Seaton member Martin Shaw urging Highways England to give greater priority to improvements in Wilmington as a matter of urgency.

A written tribute  left by friends at  the roadside on the A35 near Wilmington where Hontion teenager Blake Harkin died last year.. Picture Chris CarsonA written tribute left by friends at the roadside on the A35 near Wilmington where Hontion teenager Blake Harkin died last year.. Picture Chris Carson

Five million vehicles drive along the A35 and through its villages each year but in the last 12 months there have been several fatal crashes.

On October 11, 19-year-old Blake Harkin, from Honiton, died after being involved in a car crash near Wilmington. Flowers, toy cars and car air fresheners were left in tribute to him.

On April 29, Tesco lorry driver Wayne Woodbridge, aged 54, from Winchester, died at the scene following a collision between two HGVs just west of Kilmington.

On June 13, a Hampshire man in his 60s was found dead after his car left the road and ended up in dense woodland some 30 metres from the carriageway, off the A35, near Charmouth.

On July 4, a 27-year-old cyclist from Colyton died after being involved a collision with a van on the A35 at Raymonds Hill, Axminster.

Kat Liddington, South West programme development manager for Highways England, said: "We are absolutely committed to improving safety on the A35 and we are currently working on a number of studies, including options around average speed cameras between Honiton and Charmouth and crossing points in the villages of Wilmington and Kilmington."

Cllr Shaw said: "A study has shown that the proposed average speed camera option from Honiton to Charmouth, which also includes two crossings in Wilmington and one in Kilmington, could have real safety benefits."

Cllr Shaw said if the plan was given the go ahead work could start in 2021.

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