Safety improvements for accident blackspot

Axminster police station

Axminster police station - Credit: Archant

£250,000 scheme revealed to improve the notorious Hunters Lodge junction on the A35 near Axminster

Fresh plans to improve safety at the notorious Hunters Lodge Crossroads on the A35, near Axminster, have been unveiled.

A revised and improved scheme for the dangerous junction - where a number of people have been killed and injured - was outlined at a recent meeting between MP Neil Parish, Axminster, Hawkchurch and Uplyme councillors and Nigel Dyson, of Highways England.

Amongst the most welcomed elements of the project was a signal-controlled pedestrian crossing east of the junction, to allow safe crossing by the Raymonds’ Hill Post Office. It was suggested that this might also leave occasional gaps in the traffic to allow exit west from the side roads.

Other features of the plan included improved signage – including vehicle-activated signs that would flash warnings of traffic waiting to emerge to drivers exceeding the 40mph speed limit, longer turning lane markings on the side roads, the extension of the 40mph limit further west towards the Axminster turning off the bypass, and A35 road markings to give the impression that the carriageway was narrower, to slow through-traffic.

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All this work, costing an estimated £250,000, is expected to start in spring 2016.

Those attending the meeting were disappointed to hear that requests to move the bus stop and widen the side roads to allow shorter queues had been ruled out at this stage, despite repeated requests to consider them, but agreed that it was important to give the go-ahead for works on the A35 to begin as soon as possible.

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Councillors reserved the right to follow up both issues with Devon County Council Highways after the main work was done.

Recently appointed councillor for the Raymonds’ Hill ward and long-term road safety campaigner for improvements at the junction, Cllr Joy Raymond said : “I am very pleased with the proposals which are a positive step forward to improve safety at the junction. Whilst perhaps not as comprehensive as many of us would have liked, we must understand that Highways England have certain parameters to work within. Having said that, all we can do is give these new safety measures, which we hope will be installed by the end of the financial year, a fair chance.”

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